Plagiarism is taking a passage or passages from another person's discourse,
either word for word or in general, and incorporating them as your own
into written work you offer for credit. Academic fraud of this kind
violates the trust underlying a productive and enjoyable academic
That said, good writing
often uses the ideas and words of other writers extensively.
To draw on other writers but avoid plagiarizing, use the following techniques.
- Direct Quotation: If you use the exact words or a writer
you consulted, you must put their words in quotation marks and tell
your reader where the quotation came from. For this class, use
MLA or Chicago style as your citation format. If you have any questions about
citation style, ask them as soon as they arise, so they do not become problems in the grading process.
- Indirect Quotation: When you summarize or paraphrase
another writer, use phrases such as "According to ... " or
"As ... argues" to tell your reader what you are doing.
- General Acknowledgment of Indebtedness: When your thinking
has been influenced by a source in a broad way, but you do not have a
specific place to acknowledge that influence, you need to let your
reader know that with wording such as "Much of the following
discussion is based on material found in ...."
In most cases, however, one of the first two techniques works
better than this one to let your reader know exactly what
influence the cited writer has had on your writing.
- Bibliography List of Works Cited: This will allow you to list
the specific sources you have used.
For more detailed information, refer to the
and Citation section of Connections.