Avoiding Plagiarism in Research Paper Writing

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words or ideas without crediting the source. It is a serious breach of academic honesty. At the very least, you will fail the assignment, and sometimes the consequences are much more severe. Even if you don’t get caught, you have let yourself down by being dishonest and missing the opportunity to learn.

An example of plagiarism is to use someone else’s paper as your own, or directly copying information from a website or other source. You also need to avoid unintentional plagiarism, where you incorrectly use someone else’s ideas simply because you don’t know how to cite them properly. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism, however, is no excuse. The following guidelines will help you avoid making a mistake in Works Cited page.

Example source: “As one might imagine, Stegner was not in favor of the American Dream, or at least not the materialistic dream of status and possessions.”

Benson, Jackson. Wallace Stegner: His Life and Work. New York: Viking, 1996.
1. Direct Quotation: If you use the exact words from a source, always use quotation marks,

followed by a citation.

Correct: “As one might imagine, Stegner was not in favor of the American Dream, or at least not the materialistic dream of status and possessions” (Benson 10).

Plagiarized: As one might imagine, Stegner was not in favor of the American Dream, or at least not the materialistic dream of status and possessions.
(Missing quotation marks and citation)

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