Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism January 11, 2017

Dear students, here’s a super-simple tip on how to avoid plagiarism. Imagine someone reading your sentence and asking, “How do you know that?” If the answer is something like “I read/heard/saw it somewhere” or “somebody told me,” you should acknowledge that source. If the answer is something like “everybody knows that,” you probably don’t need to cite a source—but perhaps verify that the knowledge is really as common as you think.

Chris Heard, on Facebook

If the above quote doesn’t do the trick, you might get your students to read this CNN article about Monica Crowley’s plagiarism.


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  • Otto T. Goat

    It’s funny that CNN employs serial plagiarist Fareed Zakaria, though I suspect he and Crowley did not actually plagiarize, it was their ghostwriters.

  • LastManOnEarth

    What about the parts that aren’t (known to be) plagiarized? Shouldn’t we completely disregard such authors as completely unreliable?