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Tuesday, February 1st 2011

8:57 PM

On plagiarizing

Plagiarizing is the process of using someone else's ideas or words without giving proper credit. Each time you copy and paste a sentence or even a phrase from any source into your paper or research paper without proper citation, you are plagiarizing. Plagiarism is not limited to students. In fact, renowned writers including university professors have been caught stealing ideas and claiming them as theirs. That explains why schools often adopta plagiarism checker and plagiarism detector to check work of students. In most western societies, doing so is considered illegal and subject to strict disciplinary measures. What many don't know is that any form of copying without giving credit to the original author is considered plagiarism. Even recreating a copyrighted image or famous painting is a form of plagiarism. J.K. Rowling, author of the popular Harry Potter series was recently accused of stealing ideas for her popular book series from Adrian Jacobs' book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard. Whether the allegations are true or false, it proves how safely guarded intellectual property is in America.

Recently, some colleges and universities in the United States have been running college application essays through a plagiarism checker in order to see if perspective students have plagiarized. They are resorting to this because an increasing number of high school students that cheat in their college applications by presenting essays that have been written by others.

Some students think that using information from websites like Wikipedia is safe since none really claims ownership of those articles. That's false. Before we go into the details of why it's considered plagiarism, let's first address an important issue. When writing an essay or research paper, it is good practice to read articles on the web that are related to your topic. Doing so helps you acquire new ideas and expands your understanding of your topic. This is what we call research. However, it is important to understand the basics of doing research before delving into it. What makes your writing strong is not the quantity of information, but rather the quality. Using websites such as Wikipedia actually lowers the quality of your writing. Websites like Wikipedia are meant to get you started on your research by giving you quick information and general ideas on the subject matter. Your job now is to look deeper into the topic by finding quality sources that would be appropriate for your inquiries. A good place to start would be your school library. Make an appointment with a librarian and ask her to help you find resources that are related to your topic. She will most likely show you books, periodicals, special publications and online databases of academic content. All of this is considered good materials to usein your paper.

There are two ways to use references in your writing. The first one is direct quotes and the second one is paraphrasing. In both cases you are required to cite the original source, since if you don't, your work will are likely to be accused of plagiarism. Yes, even summarizing warrants giving credit to the person who wrote it first. Simply because you summarized an chunk of text You can't claim it as your property. Be sure that you are using the correct citing format that's adopted by your school. The main ones are MLA, APA and Chicago. Don't forget to create a bibliography or all the sources you used in your paper. The bibliography is a page where sources are placed in alphabetical order. There is also a specific format to citations, based on the formats mentioned earlier.

Once you're done with your writing, you must revise it to ensure you haven't plagiarized. Run your paper through a plagiarism checker to verify that all outside information paraphrazed has been properly cited. A plagiarism checker is an indispensible tool for every college students and should always be used before submitting a paper for final evaluation. Most colleges and universities will check your work to make sure it's clear of any plagiarism using an online plagiarism checker.Laila Elad PHD.
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Tuesday, February 1st 2011

8:57 PM

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