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Preventing Plagiarism: Plagiarism

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Preventing Plagiarism Park Tutorial

View the Park University Library Preventing Plagiarism Tutorial.

Take Detailed Notes

When taking notes, be sure to always write down the title, author, date of publication, and page number (or URL) of your source.

This way, you be able to easily find it again if necessary when you are preparing your works cited page. For websites and online material, email yourself a copy. For print material, take a picture of the title page with your smartphone.

Use Citation Tools

When you are using a library database or Google Scholar, there is often a citation tool built into the platform to help you create citations in APA, MLA, Chicago (and more!) formats.

Look for a "Cite" or "Citation" link. It's not always in the same place depending on what databases or search tool you are using, but it's usually near to top right of the page.

Preventing Plagiarism

1. Paraphrasing 

Paraphrasing involves translating the words of another author into your own, and is slightly shorter or the same length as the source document. Paraphrased material must be credited to the original author.

Paraphrasing correctly:

  • Is not rearranging words in a sentence.*
  • Is not substituting words with a thesaurus.*
  • Is synthesizing a passage of text and describing it (the idea) in your own words.*
  • Is restating or summarizing someone else's words or ideas and giving credit to the author (that fall outside of common knowledge).


2. Summarizing 

Summarizing means to translate the main idea(s) of another text into your own words. It is a condensed and broader overview than what a paraphrase can provide. A summary must also be cited to the source document. 


3. Direct Quotations 

Quoting is used when a group of words is copied identically to its original work or author. Quotes can appear in a long or short form, but must be credited to the original source and match word for word. Short quotations are direct quotes that are fewer than 40 words. Long quotations are direct quotes that are 40 words or longer, and must be in a freestanding block of text. 


4. Common Knowledge 

Common knowledge is only information that is widely available from a variety of sources-such as historic facts and geographic data-can be used without needing to cite the information and its author. If you still aren't sure, cite your source or check with your professor.

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism 

Proofread Your Citations

Always proofread your work before submitting it to your professor. This includes proofing your citations and Works Cited page. In most cases, you should set aside at least an hour to review your final draft. Some students find it is helpful reserve time to focus just on proofreading their citations. As you do this, ask yourself:

  • Is this my idea/opinion or an idea/opinion from something I read?
  • Is there a citation in my Works Cited page for everything I've cited in my text?
  • Is there at least one in-text citation for everything listed on my Works Cited page?
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