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APA, MLA, Chicago styleguide help; sample assignment, templates, etc.

The link between good writing and critical reading

When you are assigned a research paper, you will not (normally) be reading for fun. You will be reading in order to make an argument concerning the Thesis of the book or article, or you will be reading and analyzing the data contained in the writings in order to support your own Thesis.


just for fun

When writing a paper, I am most likely to:

just for fun
Wait till the last minute to start: 224 votes (20.88%)
Get started, get distracted, never finish: 95 votes (8.85%)
Start the day the professor hands out the assignment: 262 votes (24.42%)
Gather up some articles, but not necessarily read them all the way through: 282 votes (26.28%)
Write the paper and hope to have supporting articles later: 99 votes (9.23%)
Wait to complete my bibliography until the end: 111 votes (10.34%)
Total Votes: 1073

Avoiding Plagiarism

Be Unique! Your ideas matter, they define who you are. Don't try to be somebody else; be yourself. When you are not sure, it is better to cite than to write on without the citation.

The University has an academic honor code, and uses

IDEAS AND WORDS are the PROPERTY of the AUTHOR. If they write, and then you copy and paste or modify and use, you must cite it!

Procrastination, laziness, and not knowing how to cite can all get you into trouble.

The most common types of plagiarism caused by sloppiness are:

  • Copying and pasting quotes into a text, then forgetting to cite them
  • Paraphrasing or rewording a copied quote in an effort to "make it your own"

Other types of plagiarism:

  • Waiting until the last minute, then "borrowing" someone else's paper 
  • Using a paper you wrote for another class - most faculty won't accept "reruns", unless you have done a complete rewrite!
  • Using examples and supporting ideas from a source without giving credit.
  • Buying a paper off the internet

 You might be confused as to what your professor thinks is plagiarism.

The boundary between plagiarism, disorganized note taking, and forgetfulness or sloppiness is easily overlooked when a paper's deadline approaches.

Do yourself a favor, review these rules and tips, and you will find that not only do you understand plagiarism better, but your wriitng may improve as well.


The writing process

Although you must fully document the facts and opinions you draw from your research, the documentation should not overshadow your own ideas or distract the reader from them.

Writing takes time, and thought.

  • Brainstorm your thoughts with someone
  • Read Critically
  • Locate resources
    •   The Library can help!
  • Take Notes - and document sources you plan to use
    •   EasyBib is useful for this
  • The Rough Draft is not the finished product
  • Rewrite, review, and get feedback