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SCI 100: Science for Life

How to Avoid Plagiarism



How to Avoid Plagiarism

[Give yourself enough time

Many students plagiarize because they are stressed out or completing an assignment at the last minute. Research can be time-consuming. Start early!

Get familiar with the idea of paraphrasing, summarizing, & quoting

Check out this guide

Avoid temptation

If you think you might accidentally plagiarize, don't share papers or read your friends' paper.

Talk to a librarian or your professor

Research and writing can be a very messy process and librarians and your professor understand your struggle. If you are not sure, ask and you will not get in trouble!

Ask for clarification on your assignment

If you don’t understand any language in the assignment, it's your responsibility to ask your professor or go to the IESC.

Seek out resources on campus

CSUN offers a variety of sources on academic integrity, research, and writing. Check with the IESC, the library, and LRC.

Learn to cope with parental and peer pressure

Plagiarism can be a result of social pressure. Seek out help on campus. Check out this webpage.]

Why Should I Cite


[Why We Cite]

Do you think the only reason your professor asks you to cite your work is because they suspect you of plagiarism? Wrong! Here are four reasons why you should cite!

  1. Broaden Your Horizons

    1. Your professors ask you to use a variety of sources because they know that your own thinking and ideas will be enhanced when you consult the ideas of previous writers on a topic. When you do this in your assignment, the reader will get the sense that you’re joining the conversation, that you respect other thinkers, and that you’re adding something new to the conversation.

  2. Demonstrate a Sense of Debate  

    1. Don’t only uses sources that support your argument. Sometimes the most effective sources that don’t agree with your point of view. Introducing concepts from sources that show a varying points of view, puts your ideas in a more interesting and contested light. By doing this you show that there is something worth debating or analyzing further.

  3. Give Credit

    1. Just like you would want credit for your own work, writing or ideas, other writers deserve credit for their own work. Recognition is usually the only reward for scholarship. More importantly, giving credit allows your reader to recognize your contribution and ideas.

  4. Further Research on a Topic

    1. Your work on a topic helps further research on that subject. You do this by building and extending on the work of the writers you cite in your assignment. One person’s sources can therefore be an invaluable contribution to another’s research.


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