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Citations / Avoiding Plagiarism


What is plagiarism?

The word “plagiarism” evokes a shudder in most, and rightly so: it has been and continues to be a problem in all fields, including publishing, the media, politics, and academia. The NPS Academic Honor Code defines “plagiarism” as

 

the use of words, information, insights, or ideas of another without crediting that person through proper citation. Unintentional plagiarism, or sloppy scholarship, is academically unacceptable; intentional plagiarism is dishonorable. You can avoid plagiarism by fully and openly crediting all sources used.

 

Why do we cite?

Writers and inventors have the right to be recognized and rewarded for their work. If others can claim credit for your prose and ideas, you are likely to be less inclined to create and share. Academia, in particular, depends on sharing ideas through writing.

 

Our goal is to help you be confident and not be a headline

The following resources give you the basic knowledge you need to avoid plagiarism and produce professional work. 

 

  1. Watch the Thesis Processing Office’s short video "Plagiarism's Haunting Legacy" (5:27) to get an idea of how pervasive and harmful plagiarism is.
     
  2. At the same time, recognize that attribution encompasses much more than simply “not getting in trouble”—that it enriches the content and credibility of your work—and that, for this reason and others, plagiarism detection software, while useful, is by no means a substitute for internalizing and applying scholarly best practices for using sources. Our philosophy on the relationship between coaching, learning, and iThenticate, as well as an explanation of the pitfalls of iThenticate reports and cautions about interpreting them, can be found in our "Attribution and Plagiarism Prevention" handout.
     
  3. Give yourself a solid foundation for how to add source material into your own work by reviewing the "How to Look and Be Smart" portion of our Foundations of Academic Writing presentation and the "Paraphrasing and Quoting Like a Pro” workshop slides and video.
     
  4. Learn citation-management software such as Zotero to help you keep track of sources and more easily add citations to your work. Visit DKL’s Zotero page or attend the library’s workshop.
     
  5. Start a sentence with a signal phrase if that sentence contains source material. Signal phrases make it clear what information came from a source, while their absence indicates that words and ideas are your own. Give credit to get credit!
     

Citation and Anti-plagiarism Tools

  1. Visit the NPS Citation Guide for rules and examples of how to cite documents such as GAO reports, military field manuals, and Official Memorandums.
     
  2. Get comfortable with citing responsibly in your chosen citation style:
  1. Determine if your material is copyrighted and how to apply fair use by Borrowing Images, Tables, and Figures Fairly.
     
  2. Learn how to paraphrase and quote bulleted and numbered lists and how to cite equations in IEEE.
     
  3. Recycle or reuse your own previously published work using the self-plagiarism handout.
     
  4. Make your work more sophisticated with Source Blending, which combines paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing.
     
  5. Prepare to ace the iThenticate plagiarism review of your Initial Review with the Thesis Processing Office by following the advice contained in the handout and reviewing the GWC’s iThenticate FAQs.
     

Want to know more?

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All-Topics Index


The following index makes searching for a specific topic easier and links to the appropriate place in the sequenced material. We think we have most of them, but please email us at writingcenter@nps.edu if we are missing something!

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A

abbreviations

abstracts

academic writing

acronyms

active voice

apostrophes

argument

article usage

assignments, understanding them

audience

 

B

body paragraphs

brainstorming

building better sentences tips

 

C

citations

citation styles

clarity

clustering

coaching sessions, about

colons

commas, FANBOYS

commas, introductory

commas, list

commas, nonessential elements

commas, Oxford

commonly confused words 

compare-and-contrast papers 

concision

conclusions

conjunctive adverbs

coordinating conjunctions

copyright and fair use

critical thinking  

 

D

dangling modifiers

dashes

dependent marker words

double submission of coursework

drafting

 

E

edit your own work

editing – outside editors

exclamation points

executive summary

 

F

FANBOYS

FAQs

footnotes

free-writing

 

G

gerunds

grammar

group writing

 

H

hyphens

 

I

ibid.

introductions

 

J

Joining the Academic Conversation

 

L

LaTeX

library liaisons 

literature reviews 

logic and analysis 

 

M

memos

methodologies

 

N

note-taking

numbers

 

O

organization

outlining

Oxford comma

 

P

paragraph development 

parallelism

paraphrasing

parts of speech

passive voice

periods

persuasion

phrases and clauses

plagiarism, how to avoid through citations

plain language

polishing

prepositional phrases 

prepositions

pronouns

punctuation

purpose of research

 

Q

questions

quotation marks 

quoting

 

R

reading with intent

redundancies                                                                

reference software

reflection papers 

research

research questions

reverse outlining 

revising passive voice into active voice

revision

roadmaps                                            

run-on sentences 

 

S

self-citing

semi-colons

subjects, grammatical

significance

so-what?

spelling

standard essay structure

STEM/technical writing 

style

subject/verb agreement

 

T

technical writing

that vs. which

thesis writing

thesis advisors

thesis process overview

thesis process tips

thesis proposals – common elements                                                     

thesis statements

tone, professional

topic sentences 

transitions

types of papers

 

U

United States or U.S.?

 

V

verbs and verb tense

 

W

which vs. that

Why write?

writer’s block 

writing process