Emily B. Ryan
Plagiarism and evaluating sources.
Writing Center—great resource!
Unit 3 paper.
What is Plagiarism?
What is Plagiarism?
Students are expected to be the sole authors of their work. Use of
another person’s work or ideas must be accompanied by specific
citations and references. Though not a comprehensive or
exhaustive list, the following are some examples of dishonesty or
unethical and unprofessional behavior:
 Plagiarism: Using another person’s words, ideas, or results
without giving proper credit to that person; giving the impression
that it is the student’s own work …
 Copying work or written text from a student, the Internet, or any
document without giving due credit to the source of the
What is Plagiarism?
Now we know that plagiarism is the act of copying
someone else’s words without giving credit to the
actual author. Sometimes, students can plagiarize
without intending to do so.
The Responsible Plagiarist
At times, students will want to copy the words of others because the
student feels that the author has done a much better job of saying
what the student wants to say. For example, students often copy
the words of a court case when drafting an issue statement or
statement of facts. Even though this action is well-intentioned, it is
still plagiarism.
So how do students avoid plagiarizing?
How to Avoid Plagiarizing
When writing academic papers, such as essays, or when turning in
work for academic credit, such as posting on a discussion board,
there are two things that students must learn in order to avoid
How to cite work appropriately.
 How to paraphrase, summarize, and quote
How to Cite
What to Use
For citing general materials, use the citation style is generally
known as APA.
How to Cite
APA format requires two components for a proper and
complete citation: an in-text citation and a References
page. It is impossible to give proper credit to a source
without both of these components.
In-Text Citations
The in-text citation is a short, truncated snippet of bibliographic
information. In addition to signaling that you, the author of the
paper, are quoting, citing or paraphrasing, the purpose of this
information is to give your reader a quick key to the References
page at the end of your paper, where the rest of your bibliographic
information is contained.
you are summarizing or paraphrasing, the in-text citation contains the
author’s last name and the date: (Smith, 2003).
you are quoting, you will need to also include a page or paragraph
number: (Smith, 2003, p. 370) or (Smith, 2003, para. 3).
The References page, placed at the end of your paper, contains the
complete bibliographic information necessary for your reader to
actually locate the material you have used in your paper. The
components of a Reference depend upon the type of source used:
book, newspaper article, journal article, court case, statute, etc.
Here is what a typical non-legal reference would look like:
Borman, W.C., Hanson, M.A., Oppler, S.H., Pulakos, E.D., & White, L.A.
(1993). Role of early supervisory experience in supervisor
performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 443-449. Retrieved
October 23, 2000, from PsycARTICLES database.
The in-text citation is a short, truncated snippet of bibliographic
information which only allows your reader to locate the complete
bibliographic record on the References page.
Without a References page, the in-text citation is meaningless,
because there is not enough information available to identify the
cited work. Without the in-text citations in the body of your work,
the Reference page is meaningless, because your reader would not
know where in your paper you were using the references listed.
You have to have both in-text citations and a References page to
properly cite the materials you have used!
Citing Legal Materials—In-Text Citations
Court Cases: Underline or italicize the name of the case and give
the year of the decision in parentheses. Make sure you use “v.”—
never “versus” or “vs.”
Example: The case of Dunder v. Miflin (2008) determines product
liability law in this area.
Statutes: Give the name of the statute without emphasis, such as
italics. Make sure that each word of the statute is capitalized.
Include the year the law was passed.
Example: To protect children against sex offenders, Congress enacted
the Jacob Wetterling Sexual Offender Act of 1994.
Citing Legal Materials—References
A References page using legal materials would refer to the
Bluebook for all bibliographic elements:
Court Case
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
Tex. Penal Code § 49.09 (LEXIS through 2007 legislation).
How to Paraphrase, Summarize and
How to Paraphrase
Paraphrasing is the most common way of synthesizing ideas from
someone else. It is a skill you will learn early and use often. The
purpose of paraphrasing is to give an in-depth treatment of the material
in question– this may allow you, the writer, to methodically critique the
paraphrased material, for example.
A good writer uses his or her own personal writing style throughout the
paraphrase– he or she does not simply change the wording from the
original source. This skill can be difficult because it requires that you,
the writer, really understand the source you are paraphrasing.
Even when paraphrasing, you will want to include an in-text citation
with the authors name and the date of the publication to alert your
reader to the fact that are relying upon someone else’s work or idea.
Example: (Smith, 2003)
Paraphrase Example:
Consider the case of Katko v. Briney (1971). In this instance, a property
owner tried to protect his unoccupied farmhouse from vandals and burglars
by using a “trap gun”—a shotgun rigged to go off when a door in the house
was opened. A burglar was shot by the trap gun when he entered the
house, incurring serious injury. Upon appeal, the Supreme Court of Iowa
held that property owners may not protect unoccupied real property from
criminal invaders by use of deadly force, since the value of human life
outweighs simple property interests.
Katko v. Briney, 183 N.W.2d 657 (Iowa 1971).
How to Summarize
Summaries differ from paraphrases in length and intent. The purpose of a
summary is to quickly distill the main idea of the material in question.
Summaries do not include the same level of detail as paraphrases do.
They are intended to provide brief, factual accounts of the material you wish
your reader to be aware of on a less-detailed level than the material you
Remember that as with paraphrasing, you must be faithful to the author’s
meaning and intent. Do not editorialize or insert your own opinion in a
Also as with paraphrasing, you will want to include an in-text citation with
the authors name and the date of the publication to alert your reader to the
fact that are summarizing someone else’s work or idea.
Example: (Smith, 2003)
Summary Example
In Katko (1971), the court held that a real property owner may not protect
unoccupied real property from criminal invaders by use of deadly force,
since the value of human life outweighs simple property interests.
Katko v. Briney, 183 N.W.2d 657 (Iowa 1971).
How to Quote
Quoting is an important but over-used technique in student writing.
Quotes should be used sparingly, and your entire paper should not
be more than 20 percent quotation from all sources.
Try to paraphrase and summarize when you can, but quote when
you need to precisely critique the original author, or when the
original author worded something in a particularly eloquent way.
When quoting, you need to include an additional element in your intext citation: the page or paragraph number from which the
quotation came.
Example: (Smith, 2003, p. 370)
Quotation Example
In Katko (1971), the court relied more heavily upon a secondary source
than it did its own prior decisions. See, for example how extensively it
quoted Prosser on Torts:
Prosser on Torts, Third Edition, pages 116-118, states: “…the law has always
placed a higher value upon human safety than upon mere rights in property, it is
the accepted rule that there is no privilege to use any force calculated to cause
death or serious bodily injury to repel the threat to land or chattels, unless there is
also such a threat to the defendant's personal safety as to justify self defense…
[S]pring guns and other man-killing devices are not justifiable against a mere
trespasser, or even a petty thief. They are privileged only against those upon
whom the landowner, if he were present in person would be free to inflict injury of
the same kind.“ (Katko v. Briney, 1971, p. 660).
Katko v. Briney, 183 N.W.2d 657 (Iowa 1971).
Use Reliable Sources:
Conducting Research
Solidifying your topic
Planning your strategy to find the best sources
Evaluating your source for credibility and reliability
Using your source
Documenting your source
Primary Sources to Use:
Library resources.
 Lexis.
Secondary Resources for Research:
Google / Google books or Scholars. However,
Google has pitfalls . . . Make sure sources are
Bar Association websites (national and local)
Not Recommended:
Creditability of Sources:
Read the URL carefully:
Look for a personal name (e.g., jbarker or barker)
following a tilde ( ~ ), a percent sign ( % ), or the
words "users," "members," or "people."
Is the server a commercial ISP or other provider of
web page hosting (like or
Great resource on evaluating credibility:
Creditability of Sources:
Is the domain extension appropriate for the content?
Government sites: look for .gov, .mil
Educational sites: look for .edu
Nonprofit organizations: look for .org (though this is no
longer restricted to nonprofits)
Many country codes, such as .us, .uk. and .de, are no
longer tightly controlled and may be misused. Look at
the country code, but also use the techniques in sections
2 and 4 below to see who published the web page.
Creditability of Sources:
Is it published by an entity that makes sense?
Who "published" the page? In general, the
publisher is the agency or person operating the
"server" computer from which the document is
The server is usually named in first portion of the URL
(between http:// and the first /)
Have you heard of this entity before?
Does it correspond to the name of the site?
Creditability of Sources:
Look for links that say "About us," "Philosophy," "Background,"
"Biography", etc.
If you cannot find any links like these, you can often find this kind of
information if you Truncate back the URL. INSTRUCTIONS for
Truncating back a URL: In the top Location Box, delete the end
characters of the URL stopping just before each / (leave the slash).
Press enter to see if you can see more about the author or the
origins/nature of the site providing the page. Continue this process,
one slash (/) at a time, until you reach the first single / which is
preceded by the domain name portion. This is the page's server or
Look for the date "last updated" - usually at the bottom of a web
page. Check the date on all the pages on the site.
Indicators of quality information:
Look for a link called "links," "additional sites," "related links," etc.
In the text, if you see little footnote numbers or links that might refer
to documentation, take the time to explore them. What kinds of
publications or sites are they? Reputable? Scholarly? Are they real?
On the web (where no publisher is editing most pages), it is possible
to create totally fake references.
Look at the publisher of the page (first part of the URL). Expect a
journal article, newspaper article, and some other publications that
are recent to come from the original publisher IF the publication is
available on the web. Look at the bottom of such articles for
copyright information or permissions to reproduce.
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Writing Center’s Reference Library has a wide
variety of tips on common writing issues
under these categories:
Writing Types and Tools
Writing Process
Research, Citation, and Plagiarism
Writing Mechanics
Writing Center
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for feedback to the KU Writing Center?
When you “Submit a Paper for Feedback,”
one of the WC tutors will review it and give
you some valuable suggestions to help you
improve your writing. This is especially useful
during the draft stage of the writing process.
The tutor will return your paper (with clear,
useful suggestions) within 48-72 hours.
Writing Center – Tutor Review
You must attached a Word .doc, .docx, or .rtf file. Failure to
do this will delay timely feedback.
With your submission, you must provide:
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 your Kaplan email address
 an alternative email address (for example, hotmail,
Gmail, yahoo, etc.)
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 the name of your instructor (Emily Ryan)
Writing Center
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It is easy to plagiarize and even easier to be
caught unaware through
Turnitin helps detect potential plagiarism by
comparing student work against 3 massive,
continuously updated databases of content. Every
Originality Report provides instructors with the
opportunity to help students learn about proper
citation and safeguard their academic integrity.
A Sample Inbox
Scale shows at a glance which papers are suspect.
Click on the colored square below report to view.
Sample Report
Unit 3 Paper
Submit your first drop box assignment, which is an essay on the
“U.S. Court System.” Directions for this assignment include:
 A brief essay in which you discuss the organization of the
U.S. Court System. You also need to address the jurisdiction
of the federal courts, explaining the requirements for filing
in that jurisdiction (Examples: federal question or diversity
 Next, research the court system in your home state and
explain the similarities and differences between the federal
and state systems. In addition, how do the two systems
parallel each other?
Additional criteria:
Paper should be 2-4 pages, excluding cover or reference page.
Viewpoint and purpose should be clearly established and sustained.
Assignment should follow the conventions of Standard American English
(correct grammar, punctuation, etc.).
In-text citations should be included per APA and/or BlueBook standard.
Assignment should be well ordered, logical and unified, as well as
original and insightful.
Your work should display superior content, organization, style, and
mechanics and appropriate citation should be used.
Plagiarism and APA Resources:
An Introduction to
APA Citation
Sample APA
What It Is and How
to Avoid It
What It Is and How
to Avoid It
Plagiarism and APA Resources:
How to Paraphrase
How to Summarize
When to Use
Aaron, J. E. (2001). The Little, Brown compact handbook. (Revised Custom 4th ed.).
Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.
American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American
Psychological Association. (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review &
The Yale Law Journal. (2005). The bluebook: A uniform system of citation (18th ed.).
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law Review Association.
Hacker, D. (2008). Rules for writers. (6th ed.). New York: Bedford/St. Martin.
Lipson, A. & Reindl, S. (2003) The responsible plagiarist: Understanding students who
misuse sources. About Campus, pp 7-14. July–August 2003 Retrieved January 6,
2009, from
VanDam, K. & Tysick, N. (Eds.). (2008). KU handbook for writers. (2nd. ed.) New York:
Cengage Learning.