Preventing Plagiarism: Tips and Techniques by Laura DeSena

Emphasizing Primary Sources

  • If you have students free write their reactions as they read or view a primary source (novel, poem, video, piece of art, etc.) and use this as a foundation for their work, plagiarism will be easer to prevent. The next step is to pull a central idea from their notes and use it to create their original thesis. The notes should also provide evidence to support their thesis, but they should revisit the original work for more support. Prior to writing, an outline can help improve the final product. Then it’s off to write and edit the paper. Note that at this point, the paper uses no secondary sources.
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