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Avoiding Plagiarism :

There are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts. This page offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work.

Research-based writing in American institutions, both educational and corporate, is filled with rules that writers, particularly beginners, aren't aware of or don't know how to follow. Many of these rules have to do with research and proper citation. Gaining a familiarity of these rules, however, is critically important, as inadvertent mistakes can lead to charges of plagiarism, which is the uncredited use (both intentional and unintentional) of somebody else's words or ideas.

While some cultures may not insist so heavily on documenting sources of words, ideas, images, sounds, etc., American culture does. A charge of plagiarism can have severe consequences, including expulsion from a university or loss of a job, not to mention a writer's loss of credibility and professional standing. This resource, which does not reflect any official university policy, is designed to help you develop strategies for knowing how to avoid accidental plagiarism.

Intellectual Challenges in American Academic Writing :

There are some intellectual challenges that all students are faced with when writing. Sometimes these challenges can almost seem like contradictions, particularly when addressing them within a single paper.

For example, American teachers often instruct students to:

  • Develop a topic based on what has already been said and written but write something new and original.

  • Rely on opinions of experts and authorities on a topic but improve upon and/or disagree with those same opinions.

  • Give credit to researchers who have come before you but make your own significant contribution.

  • Improve your English or fit into a discourse community by building upon what you hear and read but use your own words and your own voice.

  • Other Pages in This Section :

  • Is It Plagiarism Yet? : There are some actions that can almost unquestionably be labeled plagiarism.

  • Safe Practices against Plagiarism : Here are certain practices that can help you not only avoid plagiarism.

  • Safe Practices Against Plagiarism : An Exercise : Read over each of the following passages, and respond on your own or as a class as to whether or not it uses citations accurately.

  • Best Practices for Teachers : But there are some things you, as a teacher, can do to minimize plagiarism in your classes.
  • English Writing Resources| Plagiarism to HOME PAGE

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