5. Avoiding Plagiarism

Recognizing that many texts, photos, videos, and sound recordings are the intellectual property of others will allow you to fulfill your ethical and legal obligations to their owners.

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5.1  Understanding plagiarism

Video

Understanding plagiarism

Understanding plagiarism

Learn about some of the more subtle ways to plagiarize and understand how to avoid it.

Example

Know which sources require acknowledgement and those that don’t

Not all facts, information, or observations need to be cited, but you must understand the distinction (and cite the source if you are unsure).

5.2  Knowing what and why to cite

Video

Knowing what and why to cite

Knowing what and why to cite

It’s important to know what kinds of material you have to cite to avoid plagiarism, because your readers will want to know where you got your research.

Example

Keep careful notes on all sources

Keep notes that help you recall the main points for each source and determine its usefulness later, along with bibliographic information that you will need in order to cite it in your final project.

5.3  Keeping track of sources

Video

Keeping track of sources

Keeping track of sources

To help you research and remember what materials came from which source, it’s important to keep a good record of the sources you’ve used in your research.

Example

Maintain a working bibliography for books, periodicals, and other sources

Maintain a working bibliography that includes a record of any sources you use, keeping notes on all the information you’ll need to cite the source in your bibliography.

5.4  Using copyrighted materials fairly

Video

Using copyrighted materials fairly

Using copyrighted materials fairly

All intellectual property must be documented and you might even need to request permission from the source - any direct quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from your sources, but also any photos, graphs, cartoons, videos, and music.

Example

Use sources ethically

Demonstrate to readers your integrity as a researcher by checking that your citations are complete and trustworthy.

5.5  Checking source use while revising

Video

Checking source use while revising

Checking source use while revising

Remember to double check your draft for accidentally plagiarized material as you go through the revision and editing processes.

Example

Quote and paraphrase online sources with care

Avoid inadvertent plagiarism when you take notes on a source, taking special care when copying and pasting from online sources.

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