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Plagiarism: Avoiding Plagiarism

Resources to help you better understand and avoid plagiarism

How to Avoid Plagiarism?

This video demonstrates keys to avoiding plagiarism:

Bainbridge State College. (2010, January 5). Plagiarism: how to avoid it? [Video file]. YouTube.

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

All our works are based on other's thoughts and findings. This is a good idea! It allows us to learn and create new insights and knowledge.

The most important thing in this process is to give credit and attribute the ideas and opinions that have influenced us. Attribution shows respect and appreciation to people with interesting works.

A paraphrase is a restatement of another person's ideas in your own style and words. 

When you paraphrase, you must:

  • Change the sentence structure
  • Exactly express the original author's ideas.

How to cite:

  • Attribute with an in-text citation; some citation styles request that you provide a page or paragraph number whenever available.

Quotes are a copy of what another author wrote.

When you quote:

  • Make sure quotes are put between "quotation marks."
  • Ensure that you do not over-rely on quotes.
  • Use quotes from reliable sources.

How to cite:

  • Place quotation marks around the entire word-for-word passage, whether it's a phrase or a sentence.
  • Attribute with an in-text citation; most citation styles request that you provide a page or paragraph number when directly citing.  
  • If your quotation is longer, check with your citation style guide to see if additional formatting is necessary (block quotations, for example).  

A summary is an edited and condensed version of the original source.

When you summarize:

  • Keep your summary clear and brief.
  • Cling to just the key points.
  • Make sure to write the summary in your own style.

How to cite: 

  • Attribute with an in-text citation; some citation styles request that you provide a page or paragraph number whenever available.

Common knowledge refers to information that:

  • can be found in many sources;
  • you can carefully assume your readers know;
  • could be found in a general reference source.

Usually things that are common knowledge do not need to be cited. 

Note: It is not always clear what information constitutes common knowledge, so if you're unsure, it will be better to cite.

Citation Styles

The majority of USEK faculties use APA 6th Edition style. If you are unsure which style to use please check with your instructor.

The research guide below, will give you instructions on how to use APA 6th edition referencing style:

Organizing your Sources and Information

Refworks is a citation software that can help you organize your journal article, book, or other document citations by collecting them together in one place to create properly formatted bibliographies in almost any style. It can enable you to:

  • import citations from your favorite databases, library catalog, e-journals and websites;
  • build and organize bibliographies;
  • format citations for papers;
  • take notes on articles and save them in your collection of citations.

RefWorks is a powerful online research management, writing and collaboration tool designed to help researchers of all levels easily gather, organize, store and share all types of information, and to instantly generate citations and bibliographies.