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How To Use Sources Properly

The following pages contain information on the different forms of plagiarism, proper selection and use of scholarly sources, and links to helpful websites.


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Communities around the world have different practices for representing the words and ideas of other people. In colleges and universities throughout the United States, instructors place great emphasis on distinguishing clearly between your own words and ideas, and other people’s. Plagiarism is treating someone else's work as if it were your own, and it is considered a serious violation of the Honor Code, whether or not it was intentional. Whenever you use the words or ideas of another person without making it absolutely clear that those words or ideas came from someone else, you have engaged in plagiarism.

But it's not enough to avoid plagiarism; you also need to learn to use sources properly. This involves citing your sources correctly and using them in appropriate ways. For example, citing websites in a research paper is not plagiarism, but in many cases it is not a proper use of sources.

In the following pages you will find information on the different forms of plagiarism, proper scholarly procedure, and links to helpful websites for further information. Always remember that your best resource is your professor; don’t hesitate to consult him or her to figure out what is and is not appropriate in each case.

A good way to begin is to test your understanding of plagiarism and the proper use of sources. We've provided a self test as a way for you to learn more about the proper use of sources and plagiarism through a series of examples that illustrate when and how to correctly cite your sources.

Continue to the Self Test>>


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