Avoiding Plagiarism Common Knowledge Parenthetical Citations Quoting Paraphrasing
What is Plagiarism? “Copying the language, structure, ideas and/or thoughts of another and adopting the same as one’s own original work.” -From the Student Handbook online http://www.ecu.edu/studenthandbook/policies.htm
What is a “source”? Any person or text (online, print, broadcast, etc.) from which you get information that you use in your writing. –A friend/coworker you interview –A website you find through Google –A comment made by someone else on a blog –A newspaper or magazine article (online or in print) –An article from a scholarly journal (online or in print) –A television show –Etc.
What does “citation” mean? Citation, in this context, simply means clearly giving credit where credit is due. Proper citation involves clearly indicating –the author, title, and publication information for the print, online, broadcast, and interview-based texts that you use (Include a Bibliography, Works Cited, or References section) –which words and ideas come from which sources (Include in-text citations or footnote/endnote notations) –when you are moving from your own words and ideas to the words and/or ideas of another (Include source writer’s name and signal phrase)
Why Cite? To give credit where it is due To show that research has been done and to build credibility To help readers identify what else they might wish to read (“research trail”) To demonstrate the relevance and importance of the topic being addressed.
What is “Common Knowledge”? A well-known fact. Information that is likely to appear in numerous sources and to be familiar to large numbers of people. This is the only time you do not need to cite information, provided that you do not copy that information word-for-word from a source. If you are not sure if the information you want to use meets these definitions, cite it.
Examples of Statements that are Common Knowledge Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. East Carolina University is located in Greenville, NC and is part of the UNC system. Smoking can cause respiratory diseases such as emphysema and cancer.
Examples of Statements that are NOT Common Knowledge The family of Martin Luther King, Jr. retained the same attorney as his accused assassin, James Earl Ray, because they do not believe that Ray had anything to do with King’s death. ECU enrolled 16,958 full-time undergraduate students in fall 2007 and 17,815 in fall 2008. Smoking accounts for 85% of all emphysema deaths in the United States. In rare cases, nonsmokers who lack a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin can develop emphysema.
Parenthetical Citations General Guidelines Use parenthetical citations to cite the sources of your quotes and paraphrases. The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends upon the source medium (e.g. Print, Web, DVD) and upon the source’s entry on the Works Cited (bibliography) page. Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.
Basic Parenthetical Citation Rules For print sources, use the author’s last name and the page number. For web sources, do NOT use the page number. Do NOT put a comma between before the page number. The period goes after the parenthetical citation, NOT before: –Print: “It will change next year” (Verdi 23). –Web: “It will change next year” (Verdi).
Basic Rules Continued If you use the author’s name in the sentence, just use the page number in the parenthetical citation. –Verdi says, “It will change next year” (23). If there is no author, use the title of the work. If the title is long, use the first three words followed by an ellipsis –“It will change next year” (School is Fun). –“It will change next year” (School is Amazing…)
Altering Quotes You can omit words in quotes using an ellipsis, as long as you aren’t omitting words that make the point. –“If the rule isn’t changed…students should protest” (Verdi 25). You can change words used in the quotation using brackets as long as you don’t alter the meaning. –“I saw him clearly in the moonlight” (Verdi 30). –“I saw [the suspect] clearly in the moonlight” (Verdi 30).
Short Quotes vs. Long Quotes Short quotes are less than four lines. Long quotes are four or more lines of typed text. These quotes must: –NOT be put in quote marks –Be indented one inch –Continue to be double spaced
What is a paraphrase? into different words and with a different sentence structure In a paraphrase, your goal is to rewrite a statement into different words and with a different sentence structure without losing the original meaning of the text and while maintaining the same general length as the original. You must cite the paraphrase because the ideas are not your own.
Paraphrasing Properly Using phrases directly from the source without putting them in quotation marks constitutes plagiarism. Following the same sentence structure while changing only a few words also constitutes plagiarism. Original From Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47. Poor Paraphrase “Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes” (Lester 46). Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes (Lester 46).
Paraphrasing Properly Original From Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47. Good Paraphrase “Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes” (Lester 46). In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46).
Signal Phrases A Signal Phrase is a word or group of words that let your reader know when words and ideas in your writing come from another source. This is helpful in transitioning into a citation. Example: In her “Preface” to Country Life Readers: Book One, Cora Wilson Stewart argues that textbooks in the early part of the century had been “prepared strictly for immigrants and city dwellers,” while native-born mountain dwellers had no texts to reflect their own experiences. In response, she explains, “The people attending these schools demand textbooks which deal with the problems of rural life and which reflect rural life” (Country 3).
5/10/2015 Some Signal Phrases Acknowledges Comments Reasons Adds Compares Refutes Admits Confirms Illustrates Agrees Reports Argues Notes Suggests Observes Thinks Claims Emphasizes Points out Writes