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Avoiding Plagiarism

1. What is Plagiarism and Why is it Important?

In university courses, we are continually engaged with other people's ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lecture, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into our own writing. As a result, it is very important that we give credit where it is due. Plagiarism is using others' ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.

2. How can Students Avoid Plagiarism?

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use;

  • another person's idea, opinion, or theory;
  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings--any pieces of information--that are not common knowledge;
  • quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words; or
  • paraphrase of another person's spoken or written words

3. Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism:

  • Put in quotations everything that comes directly from the text especially when taking notes.
  • When you paraphrase be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words. Instead, read over what you want to paraphrase carefully; cover up the text with your hand, or close the text so you can't see any of it (and so aren't tempted to use the text as a "guide"). Write out the idea in your own words without peeking.
  • Check your paraphrase against the original text to be sure you have not accidentally used the same phrases or words, and that the information is accurate.

4. Term you need to know:

  • Common knowledge: facts that can be found in numberous places and well-known by many people. For such kind of fact, you do not need to document for it.

Example: 8th March is international woman day.

  • Unwell-known knowledge: you must cite and interpret that facts. 

Example: According to Kepller, M. (2011), the vocalno in Vietnam is unpredictable, Since many scientists cannot find the movement and signals to show up gaze and magma is active.

  • Quotation: using someone's words by quotation marks and cite the source according to a standard documentation style such as APA or MLA, etc.

 Example: Nils Pharo said that: ".........................." (Pharo, Nils, 2012, p.56)

  • Paraphase: using someone's idea but putting them in your own words. Even though you do not copy exactly the idea or words by words, you still need to document the resources.