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Research and the Library: Using Resources WISely

This tutorial and module will guide you through the process of library research.


Plagiarism is the use of the words or ideas of another’s as one’s own without acknowledgment of their source. Plagiarism is not only dishonest, but also illegal.

Plagiarism can be blatant or subtle!

Blatant Plagiarism Subtle Plagiarism
Copying and pasting text exactly without quotation marks or proper citations "Forgetting" to include in-text parenthetical citations
Buying or stealing a paper "Forgetting" to include a Works Cited or Reference page
Asking someone to "transcribe your thoughts" or write your paper Quoting a "source within a source" and not properly citing the original source
Paraphrasing without citing the source Paraphrasing excessively
Building on published ideas without citing the original source
Failing to use page numbers when paraphrasing or summarizing
Embedding images without citations

Other things to consider:

What is Common Knowledge?

  • It is information that does not need to be cited, since it is something most readers will already know
  • Historical dates and basic science facts
    • President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963.
    • The molecular formula of water includes hydrogen and oxygen.

Using Wikipedia?

  • Using information found on Wikipedia without attributing Wikipedia is plagiarism!
  • Wikipedia content is not automatically "Common Knowledge"
  • Wikipedia can be a useful first step to get background information, but it should not be your final source!
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