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Plagiarism And Writing Research Papers

Writing Research Papers

Plagiarism is commonly defined as presenting another person’s ideas without giving them credibility. It is not only an academic crime it also violates academic courtesy. To avoid accusation of plagiarism when writing research papers, research writers need to acknowledge that ideas are not originally theirs by citing in the following:

    • If they summarize a section of a text
    • If they use another person’s thoughts, ideas and opinions
    • If they use any information that is not common knowledge, statistics, facts and graphs
    • It they quote directly any works of another writer. The quoted text must be enclosed in quotation marks
    • If they paraphrase a part of somebody’s thoughts or opinion

Students need to note that plagiarism carries penalties such as:

  • Expulsion from schoolImage 2
  • Rejection of an assignment in total
  • Suspension from school
  • Sentence in prison, or
  • Financial implications

Plagiarism and paraphrasing

Sometimes students will take refuge in paraphrasing, and assume that they do not need to cite works used. Unfortunately, some use unacceptable paraphrase. Although others may apply acceptable paraphrase, citation of the works used in writing research papers is still required; failure to cite amounts to plagiarism.

Acceptable and unacceptable paraphrase

Acceptable paraphrase requires students to demonstrate an understanding and synthesis of information gathered. On the other hand, in unacceptable paraphrase, writer only change a few words in a sentence or maybe the order of words.

Unacceptable paraphrase in writing research papers will have the following features:

  • Direct excerpts lack quotation marks
  • Misquoting the original texts
  • Presenting quoted information as though the researcher has read and researched that content

Acceptable paraphrase in writing research papers has the following:

  • Original text appear in quotation marks
  • The researcher clearly acknowledges the researcher
  • The idea behind the original text is reproduced without using phrases from the original text


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