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Plagiarism: Don't Let It Happen to You!: Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

A guide to understanding plagiarism and how to avoid it

Time Manangement Tool

Assignment Calculator - try it out!  Type in the date your assignment is due, select the subject area, and this time management tool from the Univ of Minnesota Libraries does the rest! 

You'll see a handy timeline for breaking down the components of your research project, including setting deadlines for the specific steps of your assignment research and writing.  Some resources and databases listed in Assignment Calculator will be specific to the University of Minnesota Libraries, but many of these are also available at USA.

Thanks to Iowa State Marx Library for bringing this to our attention

Easy Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

Do not procrastinate. When you wait until the last minute to begin working on an assignment, you will feel rushed.  Either you will fail to document the use of your sources accurately or you might make a poor choice and choose to simply "copy and paste" together your paper.  Not a good idea.  To avoid this potential hazard, start early.  You will thank yourself later.

Get comfortable with your required/ often used citation style. The more you use your chosen citation style (MLA, APA, Chicago), the more comfortable you become with appropriately using it and documenting your sources accurately.

Keep track of your source materials. The best way to do this is have an actual copy of your source.  Print out, copy the source, or save the electronic copy. It is much easier to work with paper material, than try to remember where you found a source.  The Marx Library provides both copiers and printing services.

Take good notes. Within your source material, highlight key passages and annotate the text in the marginsJust be sure you are doing this note taking in a copy of the source material--not highlighting in a library book.

Maintain a working bibliography. Essentially, keep a list of any sources that you consult or think you might include in your assignment. Make sure that in this working bibliography you note the important citation information for your source material (ex. title, author, publication information, URL, etc.)

Ask your librarian or professor. If you are unsure about how to cite source material or whether or not something should be cited, check with your instructor or librarian; they are the professionals.

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Elizabeth Shepard
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