How to avoid the plagiarism trap For Centennial High School Students and Teachers

How to avoid the
plagiarism trap
For Centennial High School
Students and Teachers
Mrs. Mirka
(Teacher Librarian)
The basics…
Always cite your sources
Know what “common
knowledge” is
Understand how to properly
“borrow” ideas by paraphrasing,
quoting and summarizing
Take really good notes!
Do I have
to cite
Facts that are widely known, or
 Information or judgments considered
“common knowledge”
Do NOT have to be documented.
Hooray for
Examples of common knowledge
Ralph Klein was elected Premier of
Alberta in 1993 is common
The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
on December 7, 1941 is common
If you see a fact
in three or more sources,
and you are fairly certain
your readers already know this
it is likely to be
“common knowledge.”
No need to document when:
You are discussing your own
experiences, observations, or
Compiling the results of original
research, from science
experiments, etc.
You are using common
When in
You can
“borrow” from
the works of
others in your
own work!
Use these three strategies,
To blend source materials in with your
own, making sure your own voice is
What’s the big deal?
Wrong! Paraphrasing
original ideas without
your source,
is plagiarism too!
Paraphrasing means rephrasing the words of an
author, putting his/her thoughts in your own words.
When you paraphrase, you rework the source’s
ideas, words, phrases, and sentence structures with
your own. Like quotations, paraphrased material
must be followed with in-text documentation and
cited on your Works-Cited page.
Paraphrase when:
 You plan to use information on your note cards and
wish to avoid plagiarizing
 You want to avoid overusing quotations
 You want to use your own voice to present
Example of Paraphrasing
Original :
Most of the extra body fat that Canadians carry – and
the increasing incidence of Type 2 (adult-onset)
diabetes - is the result of consuming too many
carbohydrates and snacking in the evening.
The increase in obesity and diabetes reported among
Canadians has been linked to their excessive intake
of carbohydrates and poor eating habits.
Paraphrasing does not mean playing with a few
synonyms. You’ll have to use your own words and
change the structure of the sentences to be able to
paraphrase. Even so, you’ll still need a citation to
tell the reader the source of your inspiration
Do you recognize this?
The teeny-weeny arachnid
Ascended the down flow pipe:
Precipitation down flow
Then gave the bug a swipe
(New Foundations, 2003)
Or this?
And if you ever
Observed that snout
You would contend
That it emitted radiation
(New Foundations, 2003)
Quotations are the exact words of an author,
copied directly from a source, word for word.
Quotations must be cited!
Use quotations when:
 You want to add the power of an author’s words to
support your argument
 You want to disagree with an author’s argument
 You want to highlight particularly eloquent or
powerful phrases or passages
 You are comparing and contrasting specific points of
 You want to note the important research that
precedes your own
Quotations: 40 words or less
Incorporate as part of the paper
Use “quotation marks”
Give page number
He confirms our suspicions:
“Because N-Gen children are born
with technology, they assimilate it.
Adults must accommodate – a
different and much more difficult
learning process” (Tapscott, 1998,
More than 40 words
No quotation marks
Start quote on a new line, indent 5 spaces, indent each line
At the conclusion of Lord of the Flies, Golding has Ralph and the
other boys realize the horror of their actions:
The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave
himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great
shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole
body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the
burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that
emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too.
Summarizing involves putting the main
idea(s) of one or several writers into your
own words, including only the main
point(s). Summaries are significantly
shorter than the original and take a broad
overview of the source material. Again, it
is necessary to attribute summarized
ideas to their original sources.
Summarize when:
You want to establish background or offer an overview of a
You want to describe knowledge (from several sources)
about a topic
You want to determine the main ideas of a single source
Finally…as you take notes:
Include any direct quotes or unique
phrases in quotation marks or mark
with a big Q and make sure the
speaker’s /writer’s name is identified.
Make sure you note a paraphrase
with the writer’s name and mark it
with a big P
Include page numbers and source
references so you can go back and
check for accuracy as you write.
This is the end of the
slide presentation