Plagiarism or Paraphrasing, that is the Question

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From “Plagiarism and the Internet” Click to see article

It is almost the end of the semester and the huge research paper is due.  It takes so much time to paraphrase and cite your sources.  It seems so easy to just copy sections of the article and change a word or two here and there.  You are not sure about the citations; you just get the paper done.  So you copy and paste. Big mistake.

Did you know that copying phrases and sections without giving credit is plagiarism?  Even if you change a word or two, it is still plagiarism.

If you use words from another source, make sure you set off the words with quotation marks and use the correct citation method.  Even if you paraphrase—rewrite something into totally your own words –you still need to give credit to where you got the information.

If you are caught plagiarizing on a paper it is not only a “0” on the paper, it can be a “0” for a class, or even being expelled from Michigan State.  It is not worth the risk.

Perhaps you got away with it before, but now many instructors are using Turnitin or other tools to check for plagiarism.  These tools check against millions of documents to test for similar phrases and alert the instructor.  Remember, if you could search for the information others can find it also!

Also, if you are a graduate student, faculty or staff you can use the service iAuthenticate that works much like Turnitin, only this service is to help check your writing before it is submitted to make sure that you haven’t accidentally overlooked a citation.  It doesn’t hurt to check your research, grant applications, or other writing you are preparing for publications to make sure there are no problems.  This is currently a pilot service, so your usage actually helps MSU evaluate this program. Check it out at iAuthenticate

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At The Writing Center @ MSU we can help you avoid plagiarism.  We can help you work on paraphrasing, learn how to cite correctly, and discuss strategies to improve your writing.

Make an appointment soon– at Bessey, any of our satellites, or online using Twiddla!

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