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ASC Success Strategies: Plagiarism


Plagiarism is when an author represents someone else's intellectual property as his or her own work. Authors are most commonly at risk of plagiarizing when they fail to adequately cite the original source material from which they took words and ideas. Plagiarism can occur in many forms and can range from a lack of citations to incorrect paraphrasing or actual direct copy and pasting of a source's phrasing into another author's own paper.

To avoid plagiarism, Walden students should follow the rules the American Psychological Association (APA) has set forth. APA asks that authors follow formatting and frequency guidelines to cite all sources that they have used in a paper. Citing sources helps authors in three ways:

  • Gives credit to sources authors are quoting andparaphrasing;
  • Tells the reader when authors are using sources to support ideas; and
  • Directs the reader to the reference list and the full publication information for sources.

Avoiding plagiarism by properly citing sources helps both the author and the reader. Without citations, the reader:

  • Will not know what sources the author is using;
  • Will think all of the paper consists of onlythe author's ideas;
  • Will think that the author is not basing his or her ideas on research, but on opinion; and
  • Will not follow how the author learned information in the paper.

If you think about the benefits properly citing sources gives the author and the reader, it makes sense that scholars would want to be as conscientious about citing as possible.  Citing sources maintains the author's integrity, creates credibility for the author, shows the author is engaging in scholarship, and avoids plagiarism.

WCSS 3100/3101

This 3-week course is intended for students who want to develop a better understanding of how to read, summarize, quote, and paraphrase texts following APA guidelines. Grad students on the quarter system should take 3100 (1 cr.). Grad students on the semester system should take 3101 (1 cr.). Undergrads should take 3100U (1 cr.).

E-mail your academic advisor for more information and to enroll!