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Practicing Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism: Guide

Praciting Acdamic Integrity in Your Writing and Research

About this Guide

Academic integrity is one of the cornerstone values of the University of Idaho. The University of Idaho has specific expectations described in the Student Code of Conduct. Practicing academic honesty and integrity in your writing and research involves making every effort to acknowledge your sources fully and appropriately. This guide offers resources for ethical use of source materials in your writing.
Image from University of Wisconsin- Green Bay Cofrin Library

Avoiding Plagiarism

In research papers, you must use your own ideas while referring to work that's been done by others.Confusion about how to integrate sources can lead to accidental plagiarism. Know the facts!

  • Plagiarism.org
    Free resource sponsored by iParadigms LLC, makers of Turnitin, WriteCheck, and iThenticate.

Academic Integrity in Your Writing

When you research a topic you may use information from articles, books, or the Web to support your ideas. Practicing academic integrity in your writing means that you give credit to the original authors of these sources by citing them.

To cite means that you state where you found the information so that others can find the exact item again. In this way we build upon the ideas and knowledge of other people.

Citing the sources of the ideas or texts in your research paper:

  • Gives credit to authors for their ideas.
  • Leads your readers to the sources you consulted – a trail to your research. Shows know how you reached the conclusions in your paper.
  • Shows the depth and scope of your research.

Always cite your source when you:

  • Use another person’s idea, opinion.
  • Refer to information that is not considered common knowledge. (Means facts that are generally known by most people.)
  • Use another person’s actual words. (Called a direct quote)
  • Paraphrase another person’s spoken or written words.

This video, released under Creative Commons license from Ohio University's Alden Library, discusses the importance of citing your sources in your research.

What's So Important About Academic Integrity?

This brief video from the International Center for Academic Integrity features ICAI conference guests discussing the importance of academic integrity. The video is released under Creative Commons license.

Incorporating the Ideas of Others

To  incorporate the ideas of others in your research using your own words, follow these steps:

  1. Reread the original passage until you understand its full meaning.
  2. Set the original aside, and write your paraphrase on a note card.
  3. Jot down a few words below your paraphrase to remind you later how you envision using this material. At the top of the note card, write a key word or phrase to indicate the subject of your paraphrase.
  4. Check your rendition with the original to make sure that your version accurately expresses all the essential information in a new form.
  5. Use quotation marks to identify any unique term or phraseology you have borrowed exactly from the source.
  6. Record the source (including the page) on your note card so that you can credit it easily if you decide to incorporate the material into your paper.

Source: The Purdue Owl