Plagiarism 101
How to Write Term Papers
Without Being Sucked into the Black Hole
What it is Helpful StrategiesCitation PracticeResourcesReferences Style Guides

Helpful Strategies: Scenarios

Scenario 1

Marcia has been assigned a subject for her term paper she finds boring beyond belief.
For weeks she's avoided doing any work on it because she's annoyed at having to write about something that doesn't interest her. There are ten days left to do the assignment and she's considering buying something from a paper mill just to have it over with. What would you advise her to do?

You could suggest to Marcia:

Check with the professor to see if she can change the topic. (7)

Discuss with a tutor how to personalize the topic if it can't be changed (7)

Resign herself to writing the paper and think about how good it will feel to have it finished. (7)


Scenario 2

Stuart is really excited about his paper on the cultural connections between Jazz and Rap. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to start writing because each time he reads something new his focus changes. Stuart is starting to freak out and is tempted to just paste together some stuff off websites he's found so he has something to hand in. You're his friend, what do you tell him?


If you were Stuart's friend you could:

Tell him don't do it. His professor can easily search the web and find the sites he plagiarized.

Reassure him that choosing a theme is often a difficult part of the writing process. Suggest he visit the Writing Center on Campus for help in moving to the next stage of writing his paper.

Suggest he brainstorm ideas, then choose one main idea or argument to condense into a paragraph. Then he could diagram or outline the major points and start writing!(6)

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What it isHelpful StrategiesCitation PracticeResourcesReferences Style Guides