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Understanding Plagiarism: Identifying Plagiarism

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Learning to identify plagiarism is the first step in avoiding it.

"When do I need to cite a source and why?" "When information or ideas are not your own."

"How do I know when I've misused a source?"

"If it's not common knowledge, you need to attribute the information to the author/creator."

Acknowledging source material is an important part of academic honesty.

Integrating source material into your own writing means that you either have to quote,

paraphrase, or summarize. "When do I quote a source?"

The guideline for quoting a source: if the original language of the source is necessary

to capture its meaning, then you should quote it. In other words, if you will lose the intention

or meaning of the author by paraphrasing or summarizing then use a direct quote.

"When do I paraphrase a source?" The guideline for paraphrasing a source: if

the original language of the source is not necessary to capture its meaning, then you

should paraphrase it. For the most part, you should attempt to paraphrase source material

rather than always relying on direct quotation. This helps integrate the source into your

own writing style. "When do I summarize a source?"

The guideline for summarizing a source: if the original language of the source is not

necessary to capture its meaning, and the original material is too lengthy to paraphrase

appropriately, you should summarize. Use summary sparingly.

Let's take a look at using source material correctly to avoid plagiarism.

First, select the original source material. Once you have selected a source that will

support the claim you are making, decide on either quoting or paraphrasing.