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Writing Help

This guide contains writing resources and information for students.

What's the big deal?


What is the reasoning behind plaigiarism?

Knowledge develops through recognition of previous work. As expressed by Isaac Newton, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" (BBC, 2009). 

Citing is the method of recognizing others' work, and it is an essential part of being a university student. Using proper citation allows instructors to see what scholars you have been reading, and it also gives you a voice in the scholarly discussion. 

If you write something amazing, you probably would want others to cite your work too!

Plagiarism

"Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct that usually involves presenting borrowed ideas or wording as if they were your own. If you are charged with plagiarism, you can fail an assignment, fail a course or be suspended from university" (Student Success Centre, 2014). 

Attribution

General knowledge does not need to be cited. When in doubt, do not assume general knowledge.

Example: Most university students will need to write an essay during their studies.

When you take the exact wording of someone else's idea (whether partial or full sentence/passage), you must attribute using quotations and an in-text citation. Don't forget your works cited page at the end!

Example:

This is further reinforced by the fact that "[e]fficacy of technological tools and mediums has been measured in a variety of ways in education, but student learning is the most frequently used measure of efficacy" (Rockinson-Szapkiw et. al, 259). 

Works Cited

Rockinson-Szapkiw, Amanda J., et al. "Electronic versus traditional print textbooks: A comparison study on the influence of university students' learning." Computers & Education 63 (2013): 259-266.

To paraphrase, you rewrite someone else's ideas, in the same level of detail in your own words. An in-text citation is necessary, but quotation marks are only necessary if using exact phrasing.

Example:

As students increasingly use mobile devices in their education, publishers have quickly responded by providing more of their textbook titles in a digital format (Rockinson-Szapkiw et. al, 259). 

Works Cited

Rockinson-Szapkiw, Amanda J., et al. "Electronic versus traditional print textbooks: A comparison study on the influence of university students' learning." Computers & Education 63 (2013): 259-266.

To summarize, you are taking a larger concept and distilling it into your own words. Typically longer than a paraphrase, summarizing is a description of your understanding of the meaning and content. 

 

Example (From the University College of the University of Toronto paraphrasing and summarizing webpage):

Here is a summary of the passage from "An Anthropologist on Mars":

In "An Anthropologist on Mars," Sacks notes that although there is little disagreement on the chief characteristics of autism, researchers have differed considerably on its causes. As he points out, Asperger saw the condition as an innate defect in the child's ability to connect with the external world, whereas Kanner regarded it as a consequence of harmful childrearing practices (247-48).

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