According to the definition given in the 1997 New Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, plagiarism is "the unauthorized use of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own" (508).
To avoid plagiarism, all students must document sources properly using Footnotes, Endnotes, or Parenthetical References, and must write a Bibliography, References, or Works Cited page and place it at the end of the research paper to list the sources used. Of the three ways to document sources - Footnotes, Endnotes, and Parenthetical References, the simplest is using Parenthetical References, sometimes referred to as Parenthetical Documentation or Parenthetical Citations.
Check to see which type of documentation is preferred by your teacher. Most word processors have superscript, Footnote and Endnote capability. If you are required to use Footnotes or Endnotes, it is well worth the effort to master this feature on the computer a few days before your paper is due.
If you use Parenthetical References you only need to put a short reference enclosed in parentheses immediately after the citation, then list the sources cited in your Bibliography, Works Cited or References page at the end of your paper. See Chapter 9 for Parenthetical References Examples as well as Parenthetical References Sample Page.
If you use Footnote references, you must have numerically superscripted Footnote references at the foot of the same page where your citations are located, plus you must add a Bibliography, Works Cited, or References page at the end of your paper unless instructed otherwise by your teacher or instructor. See Chapter 7 How to Write Footnotes, Chapter 8 Examples of First Footnotes, and Footnotes - Sample Page.
If you use Endnote references, your citation within the text of your paper is the same as your Footnote citation, but you must list your Endnote references at the end of your paper in superscripted numerical order on a separate page entitled Endnotes. You must still add a Bibliography, Works Cited or References page after your Endnotes page unless instructed otherwise by your teacher or instructor. See Chapter 7 How to Write Endnotes, Chapter 8 Examples of First Endnotes, and Endnotes - Sample Page.
Do not be tempted to get someone else to write your research paper, hand in the same essay to two or more different teachers, or purchase instant essays from the Web. Do not download information from CD-ROMs or someone else's original work off the Internet and directly incorporate such information into your essay without paraphrasing and acknowledging its source. Apart from being unethical, dishonest, and learning nothing in the process, your teacher probably knows you and your writing style too well for you to plagiarize successfully. Most secondary schools, colleges, and universities take a dim view at plagiarism which is becoming more rampant with prevalent use of the Internet. Technology has made it too easy for students to search and click for an essay and simply pay with a valid credit card for an instant download online. Consequences may be severe when students are caught plagiarizing. What is more, detection services now exist such as MyDropBox.com, Glatt Plagiarism Services and Turnitin that are capable of catching culprits guilty of plagiarism.
A page entitled Works Cited, References, or Bibliography at the end of your paper is an absolute MUST for any serious research paper.
For further information on plagiarism, check out the following sites:
º Academic and Community Standards in Harvard College from Harvard College Freshman Dean's Office, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Includes: Standards and Expectations in Academic Life: academic honesty, misuse of sources, distinguish what is truly yours in the work.
º Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers by Professor Robert A. Harris, Vanguard University of Southern California.
º Avoiding Plagiarism from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. "Plagiarism is a form of fraud. You plagiarize if you present other writers' words or ideas as your own."
º Avoiding Plagiarism. Handout from Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL), West Lafayette, IN. See also: Writing a Research Paper: Plagiarism, Paraphrase: Write It in Your Own Words, Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing.
Note: In view of the huge number of Term Paper sites popping up faster than you can imagine on the Internet, it is nearly impossible for teachers to check the WWW for signs of plagiarism. Teachers may need to seek alternate methods to prevent and stop plagiarism.
º Cheats are having a field day on campus. "When a quarter of students plagiarise, universities need to start taking tougher action," says Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK.