As you progress in your Walden program, you may find that you research and write about a topic more than once. This is typical as you engage with key concepts and specialize in your field of study. See the information and best practices on this page to ensure you follow APA citation guidelines and Walden policy if you plan to reuse past written work.
Your Published Writing
If you have published your writing outside of the Walden classroom—in a journal or even in a local newsletter or blog—and would like to reuse portions of it or refer to the findings or ideas in that work, you will need to cite yourself.
Your Previous Coursework
If you are considering reusing your previously submitted Walden coursework in a new course or term, review the following best practice and policy sections.
Best Practices for Reusing Work
- During your studies at Walden, you may write on the same topic for a second, third, or fourth time; regardless, your writing should reflect new approaches and insights into that topic to demonstrate intellectual growth.
- Your writing submitted for previous Walden courses will show up in the Turnitin Similarity Report when reused. Contact your faculty if you plan to reuse your work to avoid concerns about possible plagiarism. Additionally, you could cite your unpublished writing (see How to Cite Your Unpublished Work below).
- Your faculty for your current course can guide you about whether reusing your previous writing seems appropriate for a particular assignment or writing task.
Walden University’s Policy on Reusing Work
The following comes from the Walden Student Code of Conduct:
Walden Students’ Use of Their Own Scholarly Work
- Students may reuse their work without an expectation that previously awarded grades or credit will attach to the new assignment. Any work previously published by the student must be appropriately cited if reused.
- Field Experience Exception: Any assignments or documentation submitted related to field experience (work, hours, client or patient logs, etc) must be new, current, accurate, and relate to clients or patients seen during the term and in direct reference to the assignment.
How to Cite Your Unpublished Work
Although not required in the policy above, in rare instances, you may need to or want to cite your unpublished Walden coursework.
If you cite or quote your previous work, treat yourself as the author and your own written document as the source. For example, if Marie Briggs wanted to cite a paper she wrote at Walden in 2022, her citation might look like this:
Briggs (2022) asserted that previous literature on the psychology of tightrope walkers was faulty in that it "presumed that risk-taking behaviors align neatly with certain personality traits or disorders" (p. 4).
And in the reference list:
Briggs, M. (2022). An analysis of personality theory [Unpublished manuscript]. Walden University.