Research and Writing Strategies
to Combat Plagiarism
OK, so this won't be news to
most people, but it really is worth doing because it makes a huge
difference in your writing process.
your research early and keep careful notes on all the resources
you use. Include library call numbers and note which electronic
database you obtained a work from. Make clear notation about whether
you are copying quotations or paraphrasing materials. Having this
information all in one place can save you a lot of time and uncertainty
later when you create your reference page and cite sources in the
your writing early-even if it's just a notebook you carry around
full of ideas about your topic. Start
to write before you finish your research. This
allows you time to identify additional information you might need.
help when you need it-from your instructor, teaching assistants,
or librarians. Learning when and where to go to get help or feedback
is part of the research process. The services of the Writing Center
on campus are free to students. (Their
web page is listed in the Resource page at the end of this tutorial.)
Writing is a process of clarifying
and refining your thoughts and ideas.
by Sarah Malavasic '02
What an Early Start Gets You:
You have the best chance of getting access to a wide range of materials
on your subject.
You'll have time to identify resources that are most useful to investigating
your topic or supporting your argument.
have time to read from a number of resources. This gives you the
opportunity to develop your own analysis which reduces the
risk of inadvertently claiming someone else's conclusions as your
You will have
time to consider which faculty, staff, or students can be of most
assistance. Most successful writers rely upon some kind of support
system or network of colleagues.
Remember, most students experience
fear and anxiety when faced with writing assignments. But, giving
in to fear can prevent you from taking those first important steps
toward gaining the skills you need to succeed at writing research
papers. The longer you wait to start, the more your fear is
magnified. Plagiarism is never more than a short sighted
solution to the problem of what to turn in to your professor.
The next two pages offer suggestions
about how to deal with some of the situations that come up for student
researchers. See what you think about them. Do they sound familiar?
Can you think of other approaches that might be helpful?
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