Strategies to avoid plagiarism

To avoid plagiarism, students need to develop and express themselves using a variety of strategies but also respect and credit the original author(s). To do so, multiple approaches are required. See Resources for handouts targeting all strategies for additional support.

  • Paraphrasing is a restatement of all the original source idea(s) and meaning(s) using your own words. It is about the same length as the original source. Writers must carefully select different words and structures to match the context, emphasis, and tone. As a result, they demonstrate material comprehension and skill to convey material to an audience (reading and writing skills).
  • Writers have multiple approaches to effectively present the content. C
    • change the sentence structure, order of ideas, and sentence types
    • change vocabulary using appropriate word substitutes (synonyms)
    • change the part of speech (e.g. noun to verb)
    • change clauses to phrases AND phrases to clauses
    • change voice (from active to passive or passive to active)
    • change transitions
    • revise other grammatical structures to indicate relationships
  • Summarizing is a paraphrase of only the main ideas in a source, so it has a much shorter length than original source.
  • This strategy provides a general overview of the content.

A quotation refers to text that consists of the exact words from a source marked by quotation marks (“   “). Using quotations in your academic writing is in many cases necessary; effectively employed, quotations can also greatly enhance, support, and provide accuracy for your text if they are partnered with context and explanation. Quotations, however, must be used sparingly, skillfully, and intelligently.

Keeping this principle, include in your text only that portion of a quotation that is genuinely necessary.  Indicate that you have eliminated unnecessary information by using ellipses (…). Be sure you are familiar with the rules for ellipsis.

Be sure to introduce quoted material into your text with attributive phrases.  Such introductions alert your reader to the fact that someone else’s ideas are about to be presented, contribute to the coherence of your writing, and assist you in leading your reader to see your purposes for including the quotation.

  • Citations identify the reference details of a source so that the audience can locate it. Citation management will depend on the discipline. Be sure to follow the documentation style selected in your discipline/ faculty/ unit.
  • Citations show the audience that the paper accessed content from sources.
  • Citations are required in all presentation formats as they show respect and give credit to the original source.
  • Citations can be presented as in-text (within your content), full citations (at the end of the paper), and verbal citations (in oral presentations).