When you quote, quote correctly!
- Cut and paste any quote to ensure you have it exactly. If in PDF file format, paste a block of the image into your text. (Now don’t start hyperventilating about online plagiarism software nabbing you, yet!)
- Next, re-type the quote either above or below the pasted text. This ensures your accurate reproduction of the quote.
- Mis-quotes look suspicious, and could motivate your instructor to use online plagiarism software, even if not contemplated initially.
- A precisely reproduced, properly cited and formatted quote signals good scholarship.
- Re-typing the quote cements it in your mind as resident knowledge, for use in a defense or oral presentation. Instructors may seek such evidence as an adjunct to the use of online plagiarism software, according to Robert Harris.
- Typing it AS A QUOTE reminds you that it comes from another person, and you will be less likely to misuse it later and awaken the sleeping dragon of online plagiarism software.
- Then, delete the pasted text so it does not trigger online plagiarism software after all.
Include quotation marks!
- When typing or pasting in a quote, please type the opening quotation marks in first. Dim-witted it may seem, but even a superb, well-intentioned writer, can overlook a missing set of quotation marks in a long paper. Online plagiarism software finds them promptly.
- In some style manuals, block quotes are indented (and may thereby avoid triggering a flag from online plagiarism software). It may be wise to adopt this as your routine practice, with instructor approval. The indentation will help you visually spot quotes later on, and insert appropriate citations. Online plagiarism software suffers from no such limitations in picking up un-cited quotes!
Unless something is so well-known as to be a by-word, or a cliché, be safe, and boring, and cite someone. Online plagiarism software does not care if you are boring.
Here are some examples:
- Widely disseminated facts, such as the atomic weight of an element, may not need a citation. (Consult your instructor to be safe!)
- However, the assertion that this element is necessary for health might need a citation. If you know this fact, it likely has been published somewhere, and online plagiarism software may find a source even if you don’t remember where you heard it.
- Or, if you contend that this element is needed for a particular industry, again, consider citing someone. Did you make this up? No – you heard or read it, and you could trigger the online plagiarism software if you don’t find and cite a source.
- Or, if making a point about the ecological impact of the extraction of this element, consider citing. Same problem, same advice: find a source to reference unless you are proposing this as a novel idea, or you risk an online plagiarism software flag. This is simply good practice, because these latter ideas are subject to disagreement and discussion, and: You are not merely spouting your personal, quite probably ill-informed opinion.
- By citing anything disputable, you are building up to your own unassailable and original arguments or points, step by authoritative step.
- For assertions not underpinning your central points, the prestige of the source may not be critical (but correct bibliographic information is, to avoid problems with online plagiarism software.
More tips to keep clear of online plagiarism software will be discussed in upcoming articles.