In college programs that require students to submit many written assignments, plagiarism is a very common breach of academic integrity. Certain acts of plagiarism, such as buying a term paper off the Internet or " copying and pasting" text from a web site are deliberately dishonest. However, students often unintentionally plagiarize when they neglect to properly credit and document the ideas of others.
For a thorough overview of the college's position and specific tips on how to avoid common pitfalls, follow this link to Academic Integrity and Writing the Research Paper. Here you will find strategies to solve some common mistakes, such as relying too heavily upon others' information, using others' words in a paraphrase or summary, and incorrectly citing and documenting sources.
The Online Writing Center offers a step-by-step guide to Research Writing. You'll also find suggestions for taking notes, working with quotations, developing proper attribution of others' ideas and the preparation of footnotes, bibliographies and other documentation. If you need help with paraphrasing skills, you'll find useful explanations and exercises in the Writing Resources section.
The Empire State College Library offers several options for developing research skills. The Research Skills Tutorial is a brief course in information literacy and doing research using the resources of the Empire State College Library. It requires no password. There are eight modules in all, or you can consult one as a "ready reference" to brush up on a particular skill. In addition, you and your mentor or tutor may want to consider integrating this study into a learning contract that includes a research project. Topics covered include: finding books in libraries, identifying reference tools, using research databases and the Internet, and organizing, documenting and evaluating research sources.The Six-Phase Approach to Research gives the most important highlights of the tutorial.
Indiana University's Bloomington Writing Tutorial Services offers a quick overview of the topic. Especially useful is the section on footnoting and how to determine what is considered "common knowledge."
This is a unit of a larger Duke University Online Guide to Library Research. It contains practical information on how to tackle a research paper, helpful hints on taking notes, as well as tips on preparing footnotes and bibliographies.
Ask a Librarian for more information or contact a librarian via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quiz Yourself: After you review these resources, can you recognize common mistakes related to footnoting, paraphrasing and proper attribution?