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Reading Words and the World - WRIT 120 - Elliott

Avoiding Plagiarism Assignment

We have gathered some resources to give you a quick refresher on plagiarism and how to avoid it. Remember your friendly librarians and writing tutors can help answer your questions. When in doubt, ask!

1. Watch this video:

2. Explore these resources:

A. Examples: Plagiarism & Mosaic Writing (Patchwriting)
Review the two examples (direct plagiarism and mosaic writing, also called patchwriting). Consider how would you explain these concepts to a classmate.

B. Avoiding Plagiarism: Interactive Tutorial
This interactive tutorial discusses how, when, and why to cite sources.

C. Purdue Online Writing Lab - Plagiarism FAQ (this one is optional)
Read just the FAQ page, though you're welcome to explore the rest of the Purdue OWL site (it has some great resources!)

3. Send your Reflections

Complete the Google Form below to help you prepare for our next class.

Some good habits for studying and taking notes:

  • Use multiple sources
  • Take detailed notes:
    • Summarize the big ideas in your own words
    • Respond to the text with your own ideas
    • Attach citation information to your notes/quotes
    • Diagrams, illustrations, and visual aids help you remember important information
  • Read actively:
    • Ask questions of the text as you read
    • Make connections between the text, your own ideas, and other sources you read
    • Provide your own analysis
    • Record citation information as you go

Studying That Works for You

Think about these questions and how you'd answer them:
  • How do you keep track of your work on a daily basis - do you use a planner, an Outlook calendar, your phone?
  • What time of day do you prefer to study?
  • Where do you like to work - somewhere soft and cozy or a businesslike atmosphere?
  • Do you prefer long or short periods of time?
    • Try the Pomodoro method as a tool to stay focused:












Illustration by Jono Hey and licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License

  • How do you avoid distractions?

    • The Flora app plants a virtual tree when you start a task, and the tree dies if you navigate away for too long.

    •  Motion and Mindful Browsing are both Chrome extensions to help you keep yourself on track.

From Principia's Academic Integrity Student Guidance:

Practicing academic integrity
Principia defines academic integrity as the practice of honesty, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in the carrying out of all academic and academic-related activities. In your work at Principia, one main way that you need to practice academic integrity is in avoiding plagiarism. The simplest way to do this is to reference correctly in all your work. Students at Principia are given guidance on correct referencing early on in their time at the college. However, this doesn’t mean that all students get it right away. It takes practice and experience to ensure that all your sources are correctly referenced in a professional style.
The following definitions are used by Principia:

  • Academic Integrity: Principia defines academic integrity as the practice of honesty, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in the carrying out of all academic and academic-related activities.
  • Academic Misconduct: Principia defines academic misconduct as a violation of the principles of academic integrity, as defined above. Students are expected to refrain from all forms of academic misconduct. Specifically this includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, and cheating. Academic misconduct also includes assisting another in the violation of the principles of academic integrity. Minor cases of poor scholarship are resolved between the instructor and student. Moderate and egregious cases of academic misconduct are reported to the Registrar and involve the Scholastic Committee, as outlined in the academic integrity policy and procedures. Contact the Registrar for additional information.
  • Plagiarism: Principia considers plagiarism to be a form of academic theft or fraud. Plagiarism is when somebody intentionally or unintentionally represents another’s work as their own and/or without attribution. This definition includes, but is not limited to, written work, artistic works, electronic (including computer code), scientific (including data gathering and presentation) and orally presented work.
  • Collusion: Principia defines collusion as working with another student or students on an individual assignment. Collusion does not include legitimate group work.
  • Self-plagiarismPrincipia defines self-plagiarism as the submission of a piece work (or a portion of a piece of work) in a similar or identical form for academic credit that has already received academic credit at a previous stage in the student’s Principia College education or at another institution of higher education without the instructor’s permission (or submitted for two concurrent classes without either instructor’s permission). Possible exceptions are assignments or projects with multiple submission requirements at sequential stages of development. However, even in such cases the instructor may require evidence of the development of thought or understanding between submissions.
  • CheatingPrincipia defines cheating as the attempt (successful or otherwise) to gain unearned/unfair advantage through unauthorized means. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, collusion, intentionally looking at another’s work during an individual examination, use of unauthorized sources of information during an examination (for example: unpermitted written material, a cell phone, or hidden audio feed), overstating credentials for academic credit, altering institutional records and any attempt to coerce, intimidate, or bribe an instructor to change a grade.


Any questions?
At various stages in your studies at Principia you will likely have questions related to academic integrity. There are plenty of people you can take your questions to, including:

  • The instructor who has given you the assignment. This is usually the best first place to go because the instructor will be able to advise you on the particular expectations for referencing on that assignment.
  • The college has an Academic Integrity Officer whose job is to advise students, faculty and staff on academic integrity issues. You are always welcome to contact this person with questions.
  • Your Academic Advisor.
  • The Library staff. The Library staff provide guidance to new students on plagiarism and correct referencing and will always be happy to answer any questions you might have.


Academic misconduct procedures
Occasionally students commit academic misconduct. Sometimes this is deliberate, but often it is not. There has been a perception among students at Principia that you can be suspended from the college for just one minor case of academic misconduct. This is a misperception! The academic misconduct process at the college is designed to primarily inform students about correct practice, and secondly to shepherd students towards best practice if they are uncertain or make mistakes. However, it should also be added that there can be serious consequences for deliberate or repeated misconduct, including possible suspension.