Plagiarism, from the Latin word for “kidnapper,” is using another person’s words, terms, or ideas in your writing without properly documenting the actual source. It is the theft of someone else’s writing and it is as dishonorable as any other form of stealing.
Writers’ ideas and their own way of expressing them are their personal property, not to be “borrowed” unless credit is given (Gibaldi 30).
Many students, however, are not aware of the various forms this borrowing may take. Word-for-word
copying from another writer, without enclosing the copied passage in quotation marks or indenting it
and identifying its source, is the most flagrant form of plagiarism.
On the other hand, a student may occasionally insert a particularly appropriate term or phrase, mistakenly believing that the use of a few words from another writer is permissible.
Plagiarism may take the form of:
word-for-word copying of a whole passage or an especially appropriate word or phrase, without enclosing the copied material in quotation marks or indenting it and acknowledging thesource.
the “patchwork effect”: a paper composed almost entirely of borrowed passages, possibly correctly identified, and joined together by the lazy student writer who believes that connecting these ideas with a few original sentences will make the writing his/her own.
the paraphrase, perhaps skillfully written, that restates someone else’s ideas without identifying the source. Whenever a student rewords or paraphrases what he/she has just read, it is not enough just to document it parenthetically.
Remember: Always acknowledge the source of facts and ideas that are not your own and are not common knowledge. Whether you have used a direct quotation, an indirect reference, or a borrowed word or phrase, it must not be represented as your original work.
Information found on the Internet must be documented. It is not “free” in the sense that you may
include it in your paper without citing the source. Copying from an electronic source is the same as
copying from a printed source. It is wrong to do so without a proper citation
General Guidelines for a Writing a Research Paper
1 The thesis statement should appear in the first paragraph and be restated in your concluding paragraph.
2 Use a standard font, size 12. Do not mix font styles.
Margins should be set for 1 inch. (Check your default settings.)
4. Vary sentence structures. For example, try to start each sentence with a different word.
No second-person point of view is allowed. (In other words, do not use the word you, your, or yours in direct address.) Your teacher will determine if and where the use of
first-person point of view (I) is appropriate
Stick to the thesis statement. Prove your thesis throughout your paper.
Number the pages in the upper right corner. Type your last name before the page number.
Avoid generalizations, such as: a lot, some, certain, a few, and a couple of. Support your
claims with data and facts.
Use the active voice whenever possible. Avoid the passive voice.
Use excerpts, examples, quotes, and specific details from supporting literature. Share the
opinions of scholars and experts.
Cite your sources. Plagiarism = Failure
Don’t even think about using the papers available on the Internet. Your teacher will find
out and you will receive a failing grade. In some cases, a discipline referral will be