Preventing Plagiarism: Tips and Techniques by Laura DeSena

The Proper Integration of Sources

  • The substance of a research paper should be a back and forth dialogue with the subject of study, the primary source. The purpose of secondary sources is to enhance and expand the central argument of the paper. The overall voice should be that of the student. Some students, however, would rather let others speak for them. Short quotes of a single sentence or less are preferable to lengthy quotes. In lieu of the lengthy quote the student should summarize or paraphrase using their own voice. Maintaining the student’s writing style and voice is one of the most important weapons against plagiarism. Students should also make it clear where their ideas end and the critics begin. Using the first person makes this easier.
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