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How can I avoid plagiarism?

As you are preparing for an assignment

  • make a list of all sources as you consult them. This includes websites that you come across while searching for a particular topic or just surfing. Write down all necessary bibliographic information immediately. Not only will this strategy save time and effort later, but it will also help prevent your forgetting which sources you’ve consulted.
  • keep track of which ideas and phrases come from which source. Use quotation marks precisely around phrases directly cited from a source. Write down page numbers.
  • clearly distinguish your own ideas from those of others. Don’t mix your own opinions into notes taken from another source.

As you write

  • set off direct citations with quotation marks or indenting
  • clearly indicate where an external source begins and ends: (e.g. “As Robert Tavernor claims in his book, On Alberti and the Art of Building, fifteenth-century scholars admired Alberti’s prose much more than scholars do today (ix). I believe this contention to be essentially true.”)
  • where necessary, attach a list at the end where full bibliographic entries can be found

Before you submit an assignment

  • check thoroughly that you’ve properly documented all direct and indirect citations.
  • consult with your instructor if you have questions.

Any submitted work is assumed to be your own except where you have clearly indicated and documented the use of external sources.