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How to Write a Research Paper: Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism ~ Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Ideas in words, ideas, pictures, interview, conversations, etc. created by someone else that are presented by you (in any format), need to be documented. Once you take this idea and present it in any medium, be it print, video, audio, etc. you will need to document the source. An exception would be “common knowledge,” meaning something known by most people.

There are usually three ways to present someone else’s original work in your written paper:

  1. Quoting - A quotation must use the exact words of the source. If the quotation is relatively short (usually fewer than 3 lines or 40 words), those words must be enclosed in quotation marks, with the creator’s information in parentheses ( ), usually at the end of the statement. Longer passages need block quotations.  
  2. Paraphrasing - By using different wording, but still presenting the same idea, a paraphrase may be created. Usually paraphrasing is used to make the idea more succinct, using fewer words, or to clarify the original concept. Just changing a couple of words in not acceptable paraphrasing.
  3. Summarizing - Giving the major points of a concept in a briefer format is summarizing. Many of the details are left out, but the main ideas remain.

To see more about these anti-plagiarism strategies, you can refer to the “Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing entry in Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab website.

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Union County College Plagiarism Policy

Any UCC student who is found guilty in violation of academic integrity by a faculty member is
subject to any or all of the following actions:
1. A grade of F for the work in question.
2. Any other action deemed appropriate by the faculty member, including lowering of the
final grade for the course and/or makeup work.
3. Immediate and complete failure for the course.
4. A Censure or Probation initiated by the faculty member and enacted by the Dean of
Student Development Office. This includes the creation of a file in the student's name
with full documentation of the act of academic dishonesty.
5. Upon the recommendation of the Academic Vice President, immediate dismissal from
the College. This decision may be appealed to the Judicial Committee.



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