Avoiding Plagiarism

Address any questions regarding plagiarism to the course instructor. Students should be aware that Ashford University instructors utilize Turnitin to determine the originality of submitted written work. These tools compare students' work with texts available in internal databases and through Internet searches.

Check out  Turnitin Instructions and FAQs for more information on Turnitin and how you can use it to avoid plagiarism in your own paper.

Here are some general rules to follow:

  1. When in doubt, cite your sources
  2. Refer to the following resources in the AWC when you write your paper: Guidelines for Quoting a Source, Guidelines for Summarizing a Source, and Guidelines for Paraphrasing a Source.
  3. MAKE TIME for your paper. Last–minute work makes plagiarism too tempting.
  4. TAKE NOTES as you read and note the sources. This will make the final construction of your paper that much easier.
  5. Do not be afraid to take risks in your work, for fear and lack of self–confidence often leads to students taking the "easy road" of resorting to plagiarism. As Nietzsche said, "think dangerously" (but support your arguments).
  6. Most instructors deliberately choose narrow/highly-specified topics and phrase questions in such a way as to
  7. (hopefully) avoid fostering plagiaristic tendencies—but work to narrow or define your topic in such a way that plagiarism becomes difficult.
  8. As you construct your work, remember that instructors never fail to check for plagiarism when they read something suspicious.
  9. Finally, and most important:

  10. This is YOUR education. To plagiarize denies one of the powerful opportunity to develop as an ethical and conscientious human being. Herein rests the greatest reason not to plagiarize.

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Detecting and avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial (PowerPoint)