Start from the beginning: What is your working definition of plagiarism? Where did it come from?
Plagiarism Defined Using the words and/or ideas of another without properly giving credit to the source(s) Unintentional plagiarism is still plagiarism nonetheless. Other acts such as "making up" sources, turning in work done in fulfillment of another course, or receiving excessive assistance are all forms of academic dishonesty, and subject to the penalties for plagiarism.
Excessive Collaboration Excessive Collaboration may be a good idea gone bad; or more correctly, perhaps it is a good idea merely misused. Students collaborate excessively when the end result of all the idea swapping, sharing, brainstorming, and conferring has been to obliterate one student’s voice and replace it with that of another. Student writers collaborate excessively when they abandon, wittingly or unwittingly, their own words and adopt, claiming them as their own, the ideas or exact phrasing of their collaborator.
Plagiarism Penalties Each incidence of plagiarism is subject to review and consideration by the instructor, and is subject to a range of penalties including but not limited to failing the assignment, failing the course, and referral to the disciplinary review board (which may ultimately result in the expulsion, suspension, or disciplinary removal of the student). Bottom line: DON’T DO IT!!!!
If this isn’t enough to consider… Software exists that can be utilized to detect plagiarism and originality! Make sure you are aware that professors and instructors have these tools at their disposal. True, they have their intuition and experience, but other resources help recognize plagiarism as well.
Let’s practice: If a fact is general knowledge, like the boiling point of water or the years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, you [need/don’t need] a citation and you [need/don’t need] the source in your References.
If you’ve changed the words of a sentence or passage but preserved the main idea, you [need/don’t need] quotation marks, and you [need/don’t need] a citation.
If you are presenting your interpretation of another writer’s ideas, you [need/don’t need] a citation for your thoughts, and you [need/don’t need] a citation for what came from the text.
If a fact is not general knowledge, like the population of a town in Albania or the number of trashcans on campus, you [need/don’t need] a citation and you [need/don’t need] the source in your References.
If you’ve listed a source in your References/Works Cited/Bibliography, and you quote directly (word for word) from it, you [need/don’t need] to use quotation marks, and you [need/don’t need] a citation.
Another important point… Many students like to include summary in their essays/written assignments. While providing summary often gives clarity, be sure to give credit to the source from which you summarized. Also, remember to consult your professor/instructor before including summary in your assignment-many will find it acceptable in certain cases, while others will not want it included.
A few final tips: Be aware of what you read and, subsequently, what you choose to use in your paper. If in doubt, cite! (also, do not hesitate to check with professor(s), peers, handbooks, tutorial services, etc). Remember: it is better to be safe than sorry!
Where can I go to get help? http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/r esource/930/01/ (great website for assistance with writing) http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/r esource/930/01/ Professor, peers, tutoring services (UWC)UWC http://irc.uconn.edu/PlagiarismMod ule/intro_m.htm http://irc.uconn.edu/PlagiarismMod ule/intro_m.htm
Questions? Duane Theobald Manager, University Writing Center firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.westga.edu/writing www.westga.edu/writing 678-839-5312 “Like” us on Facebook: University Writing Center (UWG)University Writing Center (UWG)