Practicing good research skills means that last minute crush to get the paper finished doesn't have to be so stressful. Read on to learn some common mistakes and pick up a few tips for doing it right.
In a nutshell, plagiarism is when ideas, text, and creative works are used but not cited in academic, professional, and personal work. It may be be unintentional, or it could be intentional (hopefully, not). Most of us don't set out to take someone else's work and pass it off as our own, but mistakes happen. The following are some common sense rules of thumb and tips for avoiding those mistakes.
Common forms of plagiarism can include:
|Plagiarism Includes:||How it Might Happen|
|Passing off another’s ideas or work as your own.||You used someone else's idea (that's ok) but didn't cite where you read it.|
|Copying, cutting and pasting without citing the original source.||You didn't paraphrase it and/or use didn't use quotes properly, and no citation (oops!).|
|Paraphrasing incorrectly.||This could happen in may ways, but often it is when you swap in one or two synonymous words to replace the author's words|
|Using media files, such as image, audio or video files, without citing them.||It is not just articles that need to be cited (including in posters). All ideas, images, or graphics that are not your own should be cited.|
|Fabricating citations||This is when you make up a citation. Really, don't do it.|
What about things that might be considered "common knowledge"? Should I cite? Can I skip citing it? Consider:
Perhaps this decision tree will help.
At the end of the day, use your common sense — and when in doubt, ask! (Or just cite it.)
Read the entire text, underlining key points and main ideas.
In your own words, write a sentence about the main idea of the text (i.e. summarize). Also, write key points in the text.
Highlight any words, phrases, or key passages that you would want to quote directly.
Combine steps 2 & 3 above into a new paraphrased sentence or paragraph -- using your own words.