Quick Reference - Avoiding Plagiarism

Here are some helpful guidelines on avoiding plagiarism — and the accompanying disciplinary penalties — from J. Raymond Hendrickson's book The Research Paper (Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1957).

  • When writing a paper try to use your own words the majority of the time.
  • When you do use another person's words, use quotation marks and give credit to the source, either within the text or in a footnote.
  • Don't make slight variations in the language and then fail to give credit to the source. If the expression is essentially the same, the author still deserves credit.
  • Even if you aren't directly quoting the material, you should still document information and ideas that you use in your paper whenever they are new to you (i.e., something that you discovered in your research).
  • If you're unsure, add the footnote or citation. It is better to be extra cautious than not give credit when you should.


Further Reading (available at McGill University Library)

Barrass, R. (2005). Students must write: A guide to better writing in coursework and examinations. 

Hacker, D. (2008). A Canadian writer's reference (5th ed.). Boston Bedford/St. Martins. 

Lipson, C. (2006). Cite Right: A quick guide to citation styles - MLA, APA, Chicago, the sciences, professions, and more.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 

Lipson, C. (2008). Doing honest work in college: How to prepare citations, avoid plagiarism, and achieve real academic success (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 

McMahan, E., Funk, R., & Way, B. T. W. (2005). Print preview: A guide to academic writing success (Canadian ed.). Toronto: Pearson Longman. 

Nelville, C. (2007). The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Maidenhead: Open University Press. 

Troyka, L. Q., & Strom, C. (2004). Quick access: Simon & Schuster reference for writers (2nd Canadian ed.). Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall. 

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