Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism

Below are some strategies for avoiding poor academic practices with source-based writing:

  • Use credible sources.
  • READ your sources texts completely and carefully.
  • Annotate, take good notes, document your sources.
  • Make sure you are using your sources to support YOUR observations, claims, or ideas (and not just letting them make their own argument for you).
  • Summarize or paraphrase for ideas; quote for language.
  • Cite ALL source usage (including Wikipedia!).
  • If you use EXACT LANGUAGE, be sure to put it in quotation marks and cite the source.
  • Avoid PATCHWRITING: it’s not ok to substitute synonyms in something someone else wrote and call it your own. An ethical paraphrase DESCRIBES what you’ve read in your own voice and using your own sentence structure and writing style.
  • Cite sources and build Works Cited lists AS YOU GO. Don’t wait until the end.
  • If you aren’t sure, ask for help!

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