General Tips Before you Begin Preview the test before you answer anything. This gets you thinking about the material. Make sure to note the point value of each question. This will give you some ideas on budgeting your time.
Editing It is not hard to draw the distinction between original and thoroughly plagiarized work. But the "grey areas" between these extremes are more vexing.
Students should avoid any hint of dishonesty by maintaining good research habits and paying attention to a few basic rules of writing and documentation. Whether you keep notes on index cards, in a loose-leaf binder, or on old envelopes in a desk drawer, it is important to record and organize them in such a way that vital information is not lost.
Keep careful and complete track of sources. Accurately copy the author, title, and other information about the source publication, including the number s of the page s from which notes or quotes were taken.
Distinguish carefully between your ideas and the ideas of others. This is a simple question of intellectual honesty. If you come to the same conclusions as another on your own, you should still acknowledge the agreement.
Distinguish carefully between your own words and those of others. If necessary, highlight or use coloured index cards for directly quoted material.
Writing As you begin to tie your ideas together in written form, consider the following: Begin by organizing your essay in an original manner. Avoid mimicking the pattern or order of argument used by others. As you weave the ideas and language of others into your work, make clear choices about the use of quoted material.
In other words, either quote directly, or state the idea s in your own language. Do not mess around with close paraphrases or purely cosmetic changes. See Example 4 Read the first draft carefully. Is the distinction between your work and the work of others clear and unambiguous?
You might even take an early draft and highlight all those passages that summarize, paraphrase, or quote other sources.
Is there enough of your own work left in the essay? Footnoting Many cases of plagiarism occur in the documentation rather than the body of the essay. You should have a clear idea of the variety of purposes a footnote or endnote may serve, and many different ways you can acknowledge the work of others.
For specific cases See Example 5. Also note the following: The footnote should allow the reader to find or check the material being cited. Provide exact page numbers for direct quotes, and a range of page numbers for more general points. If you included more than one source or reference in a footnote, the relevance or order of the various sources should be clear to the reader.
Editing Once your essay is complete, consider each portion that is drawn from another source, and ask yourself the following: Is the idea or argument expressed entirely my own?
Is the general language or choice of words including even phrases or rough paraphrases my own? If either answer is "no," the work must be credited to the original author.
In the first case, the plagiarist also lifts the footnote from the original. Note that the use of even very brief passages such as the "wings of aspiration" constitutes plagiarism. Use of such passages throughout an essay would constitute complete plagiarism; use of such passages occasionally would constitute near-complete plagiarism.
Students interested in a well-illustrated discussion of student plagiarism, might want to consult this:Scholarships General Information.
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