How to Recognize Plagiarism
R U a dupe?
Are you still thinking about copying something and pasting it into your writing? Read on.
If you want to have a little fun, click on links below:
- Do you believe this? It was written at MIT. Meet the author.
- How about this published paper? Meet the author.
Unfortunately, some people have been fooled and later embarrassed by getting taken in by these hoaxes.
At first glance, these writings have the trappings of scholarly work. Until you start to read carefully and evaluate the claims being made (which are largely nonsense). Even if you are trying to avoid plagiarism and you do acknowledge your sources, you have to be careful what you quote or paraphrase and acknowledge.
Most of all, if you believe and duplicate what you read and hear others say, then you might be dupe. Somehow this kind of humor comes to mind: "You might be a redneck ..." ("Jeff Foxworthy," 2014, para. 1).
If you copy what others say or write without critical appraisal and appropriate acknowledgement, then "you might be a redneck," you are certainly a dupe, and you are definitely a plagiarist. Not funny.
Don't be a dupe. Be a critical thinker!
One of the main purposes of a good education is to learn to think critically. Critical thinking leads to one of the highest forms of human knowing.
- Try to understand and then describe what someone claims;
- Determine the merit of those claims by applying criteria; and
- Rationally justify their criteria (explain their reasoning process).
If the criteria are good ones, then a critical thinker can discriminate mere opinions and false beliefs from true facts and verifiable knowledge. Critical thinkers can determine false or unverifiable claims, and can tell you why. Just because someone else writes something or says something does not mean it is true or has merit.
To be a good writer, critical thinking is essential. If you need some help with your writing, here's an inexpensive and excellent resource:
Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2008). The craft of research (3rd. Ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Take advantage of your education and learn something. Be a critical thinker. Don't be a dupe.
Next, we provide thoughts about why good writing is so hard.
Reference and note for above:
Jeff Foxworthy. (2015). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 9:48 a.m. EST, April 8, 2015 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Foxworthy
Note: This online Plagiarism Tutorial uses the style of the American Psychological Association (APA Style) for quotations, citations and references. Hyperlinks are often added to further point readers to associated Web resources.