IRIS Tutorials: Avoiding Plagiarism
No Excuses for Plagiarizing.
Here are some common excuses and the replies:
- Excuse: “My professor won’t notice or care.” Reply: Whether or not your professor notices or cares, you will still be a plagiarist.
- Excuse: “I ran out of time.” Reply: Poor time management is not an excuse. You will be guilty of plagiarism. Ask for help with time management.
- Excuse: “I don’t remember where I got it.” Reply: Failing to take proper notes and organize your research is not an excuse for plagiarizing. Ask for help learning how to organize your research notes.
- Excuse: “It’s no big deal - I got by with it before.” Reply: It’s a big deal to have “plagiarist” attached to your student record. It means you are unethical and dishonest.
- Excuse: “In my culture, using another’s work shows respect. Reply: We honor cultural differences, but in most United States school the opposite is true. One shows respect by giving credit to the person you borrowed or learned from.
- Excuse: ”I didn’t know - no one ever taught me.” Reply: All learning begins somewhere, and this is where you being to learn about plagiarism. If you’re ever in doubt, Ask! Ask your instructor or a librarian for help.
Consequences of Plagiarism include:
- Disciplinary warning or reprimand;
- fail the assignment;
- fail the class;
- academic suspension;
- suspension or expulsion.
Types of Information to Acknowledge:
- You do not need to cite information that is common knowledge, or your own ideas, discoveries and reasoning.
- You may cite common knowledge especially well addressed in a particular source if it informs your work.
- You must cite the following types of information:
- direct quotations;
- paraphrases and summaries;
- arguable assertions;
- all statistics, charts, tables, graphs; all media such as images, videos, sound clips, etc.
Style manuals define specific rules describing how to write citations and how to refer to the citations in your project. Five common style manuals and disciplines are:
- MLA: English and literature;
- APA: nursing, dental hygiene, alcohol & drug dependency programs, social sciences, and psychology;
- CSE: biology;
- ACS: chemistry;
- Chicago: art, humanities.
Common Questions (Q) and Answers (A):
Q: Can I turn in a paper for one class that I wrote for another class?
A: No. But discuss it with your instructor. You may be able to use a similar topic.
Q: Do I only cite sources in written papers?
A: No. Cite sources in posters, speeches, slide shows, web pages, everything!
Q: Can my friend write the paper, as long as I do the research and the ideas are mine?
A: No. Turning in work that someone else wrote is academically dishonest, and plagiarism.
Q: Does all this plagiarism stuff only count while I’m in college?
A: No. In the “real world” you could lose your job or be sued for plagiarizing.
Q: Can I buy papers off the internet or hire someone else to write papers for me?
A: No. Buying papers or paying someone else to write for you is academically dishonest and plagiarism.
Q: Can I get help writing my paper?
A: Yes, with limits. Others may read your work and provide input, but not rewrite it.