Non-Plagiarized Term Paper
A non-plagiarized term paper is not simply a document that has not been copied from another source. A non-plagiarized term paper is rather a project that presents the original ideas of the writer and gives appropriate credit to words and ideas borrowed from secondary sources. Non-plagiarized term papers are ones that are properly cited and referenced and generated from the student's own knowledge and ideas.
Creating non-plagiarized term papers requires the student writer to think for herself and to present ideas, opinions, analyses, and arguments that the student determines through his or her own thinking rather than someone else's. This does not mean that a non-plagiarized term paper cannot incorporate the ideas and words of others; in fact, most term papers will include outside sources to support the ideas of the author. These sources must simply be accurately referenced and properly cited in order to indicate to the reader that they are the ideas of others and not the writer's own, thus avoiding plagiarism.
There are two ways of incorporating the ideas of others into one's own text: paraphrasing and quoting. To paraphrase is to assimilate the information presented in another source into one's own words and rewrite it. Paraphrasing is not merely rearranging the words the source writer used, however. When paraphrasing, one should avoid using the same words as the source writer with the exception of specific terminology. To quote means to replicate exactly an excerpt from a source and to indicate that it is an exact replication by enclosing the source material in quotation marks.
In order to properly give credit to the source of the paraphrase or quotation, non-plagiarized term papers must present citations in the document to indicate from where the source came. A citation will note the author of the quote or paraphrase. Some citations will also include a page number or a year of publication for the work. The citation will sometimes be included in the sentence itself, appearing in parentheses at the end of the sentence (like this). Other times, the citation will be indicated by a footnote, in which the source material is provided at the bottom of the page (* see example footnote below).
Most instructors require their students to follow a certain citation style. All writing styles have particular guidelines that instruct writers on the way they should cite and what information must be included in the citation. It is therefore advisable for students to become familiar with the writing style preferred by their instructor and discipline and write term papers by following the guidelines presented in the writing style's manual.
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