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Li Ka Shing Library

How do I avoid Plagiarism: DO's

Guide on what to check before you 'copy and paste'

Q&A corner

Do I need to get permission from the authors to cite their work?
No, but you need to include sufficient acknowledgement of the work.

 

What if the work is copyright free, i.e. the author allows us to use his/her work?
It means you do not infringe copyright, but you still commit plagiarism if you do not cite the work properly.

 

What if I buy the paper or I pay the author to write?
This is called cheating!

 

Is it ok to copy words or ideas so long as I use proper quotation marks and give credit/citation?
Yes, it is. However, if the copying makes up the majority of your work, then it is still plagiarism (Besides, how is your professor going to mark your report if it only contains copied words?)

 

Do I need to cite EVERYTHING?
No, of course not. You don't have to cite common knowledge and your own experiences or observations (see: The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism, 2007, p. 20).

 

What are the consequences of plagiarism?
You may face failing the class, suspension or even expulsion.

The DO's

  1. Use your idea as the focus of your paper and use other's (words and ideas) sparingly. Your reader wants to read your work, not copies of other people's works.
  2. Use quotation marks/block quotes when you are citing directly.

    Quotation marks
    "But there can be plagiarism without publication, as in the case of student plagiarism. The fraud is directed in the first instance at the teacher.... But its principal victims are the plagiarist's student competitors, who are analogous to authors who compete with a plagiarist." (Posner, 2007, pp. 106-107)

    Block quotes
    But there can be plagiarism without publication, as in the case of student plagiarism. The fraud is directed in the first instance at the teacher.... But its principal victims are the plagiarist's student competitors, who are analogous to authors who compete with a plagiarist. (Posner, 2007, pp. 206-207)
  3. When paraphrasing, try to write in your own words without looking at the original text and don't forget to credit the source.
  4. Make a habit of compiling the source information so that you can easily cite them later.
  5. Use citation management software (e.g. EndNote) to help you create appropriate citations.
  6. Do not wait until last minute to write your paper. Plagiarism usually comes with the need to save time!
  7. Be careful when you want to re-cycle your own previous assignment. It might ended up as self-plagiarism and got you in trouble. Consult your instructor if you are unsure about the integrity of your work.

Stealing - If you can't get what you want legitimately =)


ryancr (2006). Stealing

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