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Avoiding Plagiarism

UAMS’ five colleges have individual Codes of Academic Integrity. An Honor Code is a signed contract from students’ to uphold standards of academic conduct and perform honest work. Please consult your College’s Code and Honor Council for more information about definitions of plagiarism, academic honesty, and consequences of violations.

According to the College of Public Health: Constitution of the Honor Council and Code of Academic Integrity, “plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, adopting or appropriating for one’s own use and/or incorporating in one’s own work, without acknowledgement, passages, parts of passages, tables, photographs, models, figures, and illustrations from the writings or works of others; thus presenting such as a product of one’s own mind.”

When writing a research paper, you must identify published, peer-reviewed evidence to support a topic. This is done by citing research articles, diagnostic resources, statistical data, clinical textbook entries, government agency resources, and other relevant sources in your paper or presentation. It is important to understand how to give credit to other researchers and their work in order to provide a path of evidence to support your claim, and to avoid unintentional plagiarism. The following are some strategies and resources to help you properly cite evidence and avoid intentional and unintentional plagiarism.

  • Identify each source you use; citations to articles, books, other materials and web resource URL’S. You can efficiently organize your sources by creating an ongoing bibliography of your work.
  • While reading your sources, take good notes and identify direct quotations and paraphrasing of original work. Always write down the page number(s) from the material you are quoting or paraphrasing.  All tangible ideas, direct quotes, and paraphrases are protected under copyright law and should be properly cited.

Direct Quotes: If you are rewriting someone else’s exact words, you must use quotations or indentions as a block quote, and include a citation in the text of your paper or presentation as well as the bibliography.

Paraphrasing: A paraphrase is taking someone else’s work, understanding the idea entirely, and writing it in your own words. You do not need to use quotations as you would with direct quotes, but you will need to cite the source you are paraphrasing within the text of your paper or presentation and in the bibliography. Be sure you fully understand the researcher’s work to present an accurate interpretation of the information.

Writing examples using direct quotes and paraphrasing.

Selected Style Manuals

Using Online Resources

All Internet resources are copyrighted unless there is a clear statement of free copyright; however, regardless of copyright, each source should be cited in papers and presentations. Even if the resource does not have a documented statement about use, it is still protected under copyright law. Most U.S. federal government documents online are in the public domain, which means they can be used and distributed freely; however, they still must be cited properly when used.

Refer to the UAMS copyright guide for information about “fair use” of copyrighted material for educational purposes.

More Resources

Books at the UAMS Library

Callahan, D. (2004). The Cheating Culture: Why more Americans are Doing Wrong to get Ahead. Orlando: Harcourt. HF 5387 C130c 2004.

Lipson, C. (2004). Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. PN 171.F56 L669d 2004.