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Avoiding Plagiarism


What is plagiarism?

  • Plagiarism is the use of another person’s work or ideas without giving proper credit
  • Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
    • Directly copying sections of text from a written work without citation
    • Reusing images, artwork, videos, or other visual materials without credit
    • Claiming someone else’s idea as your own
    • Can’t just paraphrase another’s thesis

Why should you avoid it?

  • You build pride in creating your own work that reflects your abilities and knowledge
  • Plagiarism is an extremely offensive action and can result in:
    • A failing grade
    • Disciplinary action at school
    • Disqualification from History Fair

How do you prevent it?

  • Properly cite ALL material that is not your own. Do this by using in-text citations, footnotes, or endnotes
  • Use quotation marks and citation when using words directly copied from another text
  • Give credit immediately when paraphrasing another’s wording, ideas, or conclusions
  • Take good notes. Detailed notes should record if something is an original quote, an original idea from a source, or your own conclusion or interpretation. Notes should also include the citation information for that source you are taking notes on

What is common knowledge?

  • Common knowledge is something you can reasonably expect your audience to know or is used in multiple sources without citation, you do not need to cite common knowledge
  • Examples: John F Kennedy was a president of the United States, the capital of the USA is Washington DC, water is a liquid
  • If you unsure if it is common knowledge, consult your teacher

 

Plagiarism Exercise


Below is a section of text from a secondary source, Nature's Metropolis by Wiiliam Cronon, followed by examples of plagiarism and then proper use and citation.

“The railroads had made Chicago the most important meeting place between East and West. But they also continued the process begun long before with the harbor and the canal, and before that in the trading village and the booster dreams that transformed it. In Chicago and its hinterlands, first and second nature mingled to form a single world.”

 

Examples of Plagiarism:

In conclusion, railroads were important because they had made Chicago the most important meeting place between East and West. But they also continued the process begun long before with the harbor and the canal.

In this example, the text was copied word for word but was not put into quotes or cited.

The railroads made Chicago and important meeting place, continuing the tradition begun with harbors, canals, and the trading village. Chicago was truly an example of first and second natures interacting to create a single world.

In this example, different words are used in places, but the word order is the same and the original author’s conclusion is still being used without recognition.

 

Examples of Proper Citation:

Student may use either MLA or Turabian citation formats--the key is to keep a consistent style.

MLA uses an in-line citation text and Turabian uses a footnote style so that the citation appears at the concluding page.

MLA:  It is important to remember that, “railroads were important because they had made Chicago the most important meeting place between East and West. But they also continued the process begun long before with the harbor and the canal” (Cronon 92).

TURABIAN: . It is important to remember that, “railroads were important because they had made Chicago the most important meeting place between East and West. But they also continued the process begun long before with the harbor and the canal.” [1]

[1] William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (New York: W.W. Norton, 1991), 92.

Here, the exact wording of the author is used but is now quoted and cited properly. Remember just putting it in quotes is not enough, you must ALSO include the citation.

MLA: In his book, Nature’s Metropolis, William Cronon argues that Chicago’s importance as a meeting place was solidified by the railroad, but had been started by harbors and canals (92).

TURABIAN: In his book, Nature’s Metropolis, William Cronon argues that Chicago’s importance as a meeting place was solidified by the railroad, but had been started by harbors and canals. [1]

[1] William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (New York: W.W. Norton, 1991), 92.

Harbors and canals were important predecessors to the railroad in Chicago.

In this example, we see a similar idea being expressed, but it is a more general statement that does not have the same ideas, word order, or unique vocabulary that the original statement did. This is an example of acceptable paraphrasing.

 

Proper Format for the Bibliography:

MLA: Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: WW Norton & Company, 1991. Print.

TURABIAN: Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: W.W. Norton, 1991.

 

Other Resources:

THe NHD page on the "Annotated Bibliography"  and, further down on the same page, find explanations on correctly doing citations.

"Avoiding Plagiarism" Web Page: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/1/


 

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