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Economics: Research & Writing

Plagiarism

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Image coutesy Wikimedia Commons

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Plagiarism is pretense. It is taking someone else's work and pretending it is your own. Plagiarism is wrong, and it's a serious offence. Check the University’s Student Handbook for a reminder of what plagiarism is and what its unhappy outcomes can be. (Go to the "Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism" section in the handbook).

 If you discover the line "the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts" you can use it. You just can't pretend it's your line. You have to give Bertrand Russell credit for saying it. Almost all plagiarism can be avoided by crediting your sources. In academic life, as in all of life, making a habit of giving credit to others is a wise and good policy. 

Princeton University has a helpful page that illustrates the proper use of sources in your research papers.

Goucher College has a short "Risk Quiz" that you can take to help you identify plagiarism - separate quizzes are in each of these disciplines: literature, science, social science, economics, and history.

Your Resourses List

The final element of your research paper will be a list of all the resources you used to compose your paper.

That list is called different things: a “Bibliography”, a list of “Works Cited”, or a “Reference List”.

What you call it and how you format it depends on the Style Guide you are using (APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, or some other guide.)

The Style Guide will give you explicit directions on format, capitalization, punctuation, spacing, etc. You have to follow those directions slavishly. For example, if MLA says that a comma follows the last name of the author you cannot use a semi-colon.

Here are three links from the OWL pages at Purdue University. They show you how your “Works Cited” page should be put together:

File:Bibliography-example.jpg
Image courtesy of Mister.Mansour at Wikimedia Commons - 
Public Domain

 

Citation Guides

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 Citing is different from but related to plagiarism. When you use other people’s words or ideas you need to credit them, and so you “cite” them. By including that citation you will avoid the charge of plagiarism.

Unfortunately, you cannot just cite your sources in a haphazard or idiosyncratic way. There are rules you have to follow. The manuals, or “rule books” are called Citation, or Style Guides.

There are three main Citation Style Guides used at the university: the APA style guide, the MLA style guide, and the Chicago/Turabian style guide. Here are three online links that show you how your Citations should look:

Managing Your Resources

 

EndNote Basic is a software programme that helps you to collect into folders all the resources that you use for your research papers.

For directions on how to register for your own free account, how to create folders, how to produce bibliographies according to your preferred style, etc. go to the EndNote Library Guide.

With all your resources collected in one place it is easy to produce a Bibliography that is correctly formatted.

Copyright


For complete information on some of the complexities of Canadian copyright issues see the Library's guide here.

Writing Help

Writing Centre 
Get free in-person or online writing help at TWU.

Write Away 
Get free online writing help from a tutor at a British Columbia post-secondary institution. Note that WriteAway is intended for undergraduate students. Graduate student should make an appointment with TWU's Writing Centre.