How do I avoid plagiarism?
- Make a Works Cited page that lists in alphabetical order all of the works that you intend to either quote from or paraphrase in your essay. This page may be called something else in other documentation formats; for example, APA calls the list of sources used in your paper References. Follow the rules of your chosen format.
- If you quote (use the exact words) from Smith or a site, you have three choices for giving them credit:
According to Smith, “Use his exact words.”
“Use his exact words” (Smith).
“Use site’s exact words” (First Word of Title).
- If you paraphrase (express Smith’s or the site’s ideas in your own words) you also have three choices for giving them credit:
Smith suggested that I paraphrase his words.
I Paraphrase his words (Smith).
I Paraphrase site’s words (First Word of Title).
If you provide a Works Cited page and mention your sources when you either quote or paraphrase the sources listed on the Works Cited page, then no one should accuse you of plagiarism.
President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address contained the following famous sentence: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Plagiarism is quoting someone’s words without giving credit. (When quoting someone’s words, place the exact words within quotation marks and name the source.)
Which of the following are plagiarism, and which is acceptable?
- Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country (Kennedy). [Plagiarism: student forgot the quotation marks.]
- “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” [Plagiarism: student forgot to mention the source.]
- “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” (Kennedy). [Perfect: student used exact words, quotation marks, and mentioned the source.]
Plagiarism is also stating someone’s ideas without giving credit. (When paraphrasing someone’s ideas, restate the ideas in one’s own words and mention the source.)