Plagiarism involves using someone else's research or ideas as your own, whether its a passage from a book, image from a Web site, or submitting another student's work and calling it your own.
Writers craft a document based on facts, statistics, opinions and quotes of experts, so don't feel intimated to use outside sources in your work--you're expected to. The more information you have from creditable sources, the more likely you are to persuade your readers. Keep in mind your goal: to create a document that is tightly woven with convincing research material from others with your own work to support your points.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. When don't I have to cite a source?
You don't have to cite a source if the information is considered "common knowledge."
For example, a historic date as in the following sentence: "America declared its independence in 1776."
This writer didn't have do any research to find the date because all readers would know this fact.
2. When is paraphrasing considered plagiarism?
Paraphrasing involves more than rearranging a few words and citing a source. When you are paraphrasing, you are stating the idea in your own words without changing the original writer's meaning.
Realistic painting in the 1960s took on an air of cynicism, especially as practiced by artists such as Andy Warhol. (Henretta 833).
Andy Warhol and other artists from the 1960s took on an air of cynicism.
The above sentence is unacceptable because
- the phrase "took on air of cynicism" is used without quotation marks;
- the credit information in the parenthesis is missing;
- the original meaning is misrepresented. The original author intended to include only artists who painted "realistic painting," not all artists from the 1960s;
A well written paraphrase has these common elements: refers back to the original author early in the sentence to indicate it is a paraphrase
includes the page number the number the information was taken from at the end of the sentence in parenthesis
uses your own words to make the sentence clear to your readers in the context of your content
Henretta believes that the 1960s realistic painters were more cynic, as seen in the works of artists like Andy Warhol (88).
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last updated on 3/30/99