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WAB Learns

HS Academic Honesty Review: Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism

You might think plagiarism is just "borrowing" or "copying" someone else's work. That almost sounds friendly.  In reality, it's far more serious.  Ideas are called "intellectual property."  That suggests that people own, or have a right to, their words and ideas.  It also suggests that taking someone else's words or ideas is stealing.

All of the following are examples of plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but using the same sentence structure
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)

Plan your paper:  Know what sources you will use, and how you want to use them.  Have a good balance between your own words/ideas, and those of others.

Take good notes: Copying and pasting into  one long Word or Evernote document is NOT good notetaking!  Organize your sources and notecards by topic (whether physical or digital). Try using different colors for different topics, and make it clear which ideas are from somewhere else, and which are yours.

Analyze your sources:  Not all sources are equal. Make sure yours are worth citing.

When in doubt, cite!

 

Discuss the Scenario

In your mentor groups,  discuss what strategies you think would be most useful to keep you academically honest.  How will you implement them?