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DIY Research: Avoiding Plagiarism

Learning Objectives



Understand what plagiarism is and ways to avoid it


Select appropriate citation style and apply it correctly


Texas State Honor Code

According the the Texas State Honor Code:

WE ARE HONEST. We do our own work and are honest with one another in all matters. We understand how various acts of dishonesty, like plagiarizing, falsifying data, and giving or receiving assistance to which one is not entitled, conflict as much with academic achievement as with the values of honesty and integrity.  Click here to read the entire Texas State Honor Code.  

Plagiarism is Detectable

How violators WILL be caught:

  • The quality of writing is inconsistent.
  • Writing includes specialized vocabulary that is inconsistant with the student's level of knowledge.
  • The paper cites references that are not included in the reference list (works cited).
  • Anti-plagiarism software is readily available to instructors to make catching plagiarism cases easy.
  • The reference list is incomplete.

Rest Stop

What is the most rewarding part of completing a research project?

Rest Stop
Positive feedback from the instructor: 5 votes (13.51%)
Learning something new: 6 votes (16.22%)
More time for other things: 2 votes (5.41%)
All of the above!: 24 votes (64.86%)
Total Votes: 37

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a very serious offense.  It includes:

  • Using someone else's ideas or writings and presenting them as your own
  • Using someone else's paper or paying someone to write your paper
  • Restating someone else's ideas or writings too closely
  • Not citing quotations



Video explaining: What is Plagiarism?




Checklist for Avoiding Plagiarism

Are you using:

   Your own independent material
Common knowledge
Someone else's own independent materia

You must acknowledge someone else's material.


Do all quotations exactly match their sources? Check!
Have you inserted quotation marks around quotations that are run into your text?
Have you shown omissions with ellipsis marks and additions with brackets?
Does every quotation have a source citation?

Paraphrases and Summaries:

Have you used your own words and sentence structures for every paraphrase and summary? If not, use quotation 
marks around the original author’s words.

Does every paraphrase and summary have a source citation?

The Web:

Have you obtained any necessary permission to use someone else’s material on your Web site?

Source Citations:

Have you acknowledged every use of someone else’s material in the
place where you use it?
Does your list of works cited include all the sources you have used?

Checklist content borrowed from: Fowler, Ramsey H. and Jane I. Aaron. The Little, Brown Handbook. New York:
Pearson Education, Inc., 2004.