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Research Help Guide: Avoiding Plagiarism

U of M Policy


Avoid Plagiarism

How to avoid plagiarism

To avoid plagiarism you must give credit whenever you use someone else’s ideas. Keep the following suggestions in mind when using material from other sources:

  • Know how to cite properly
  • Put everything that comes directly from the text in quotation marks.
  • If you are using material cited by an author and you do not have the original source, introduce the
    quotation with a phrase such as "as quoted in...."
  • Paraphrase. Instead of just rearranging or replacing a few words, read over what you want to paraphrase,
    cover up or close the text so you cannot see any of it and write out the idea in your own words. Check your
    paraphrase against the original text to be sure you have not accidentally used the same phrases or words,
    and that the information is accurate. Still be sure to credit the source.
  • Give credit for any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings.
  • Common knowledge facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by many
    people do not have to be documented, e.g. Pierre Trudeau was first elected Canada's prime minister in

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