Academic integrity for graduate students


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A review of citation and documentation basics in academic writing.

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  • Howdy. My name is __________, and I work at the University Writing Center. We are available to all TAMU students to help with any writing project. You can find out more about us by asking me, or by visiting our Web site at [If you have time, talk about the hours and locations of the UWC]
  • [Quickly congratulate again]In his song, Ray Charles is talking about how much he loves Georgia. He says, “Still in peaceful dreams I see, the road leads back to you.” He sees Georgia as a place where he finds peace and joy. In his song, however, Ludacris uses what Ray Charles says to start a conversation. “It's mean in the dirty south. If you ever disrespect it then we'll clean out your dirty mouth. You gotta be brave in the state of... Georgia.” He’s comparing the way Georgia was for Ray Charles to the way it is for him. He’s talking about how times have changed by reminding us of how Georgia was viewed by some (Ray Charles) in the 60’s and comparing that view to the view he has now. So, again, he’s using Charle’s song to support his idea that things have changed. It’s not just dropped in because it sounds good or because they’re both talking about the same state. It’s there to create a comparison between the Georgia of the past and the Georgia of the present. So what did the modern-day artists have in common? They used old songs to create something new, and they had permission to do so. Now let’s listen to one last set of songs.
  • Vanilla Ice did NOT ask for permission to use Queen’s music, and there were legal repercussions. Plagiarism is a lot like this; granted, you probably won’t face a multi-million dollar lawsuit for missing a citation, but the academic consequences can still be pretty severe.Also, Vanilla Ice doesn’t use Queen’s music for any particular reason. It has nothing to do with his song. There is no conversation happening here. He just thought it sounded cool so he dropped in there just because.
  • Now we’ll have a little quiz. While researching data for your paper on hip-hop music sales, you find a chart that defends your main argument. You download the chart and add it to your paper without documenting the source. Is inserting this chart plagiarism?How many of you think it is?How many of you think it isn’t?Yes, it’s plagiarism! The chart was created by (and belongs to) someone else, so you’ve got to cite.
  • No—you cite the summary properly in text and in the bibliography.
  • And one more.While writing a research paper on the rhetoric of anti-war folk songs, you find an article that is perfect. Knowing that you shouldn't copy the article word-for-word in your paper, you instead exchange key words and rearrange sentences. You also included a complete citation with the page number and the source.Raise your hand if you think this is plagiarism.Raise your hand if you think it’s not.[If most people don’t raise their hands at all, make a joke, such as, “And raise your hand if you have no idea.”]Yes, it is plagiarism.Some students argue that this is not plagiarism—that it is an example of paraphrasing. However, failing to integrate the source into your text and ‘parroting’ the meaning while keeping most of the sentence structure and vocabulary of the original is considered ‘patch writing,’ and by many, plagiarism.
  • According to the TAMU Student Rules, plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas processes, results, or words without giving credit to the source. But what does that mean in a practical sense?
  • Points 1 and 2:Points 1 and 2 are relatively straightforward.If no one can reasonably disagree with your information, it’s probably a fact and would not need to be cited.If a general audience would already know this information, it would be considered common knowledge and would not need to be cited.For example:“Abraham Lincoln was the United States President during the Civil War.” **This is a fact that no one would disagree with, and a general U.S. audience would know this information. (It is not something that could be reasonably argued.) This would be considered common knowledge and would not need to be cited.“Abraham Lincoln was the most effective president in United States history.” **Many people would disagree with this information. It is an interpretation, rather than a fact. Unless this is an argument that you are constructing yourself, you must cite where you got it/who said it.Point 3:The third point is a bit more difficult because it applies to your audience specifically. 3. If this information is a generally accepted viewpoint or a well-known fact within your field of discourse, then it would be considered common knowledge *TO YOUR AUDIENCE* and would not need to be cited.
  • Note to presenter: Read the first passage aloud. Then read the next two paragraphs aloud and discuss which paragraph is a better paraphrase. The first paraphrase is weak because it is just a copy of the original with a couple of words/punctuation marks changed here and there. The second paraphrase is much stronger because it is a true paraphrase, written in the author’s own voice. Both paraphrased paragraphs have citations, but the first one might be considered plagiarism by teachers because it is not in the author’s own voice and is too close to the original.
  • Should be used sparingly when the author has said something particularly effectively, when you cannot say it any better, when you are referring to a eminent scholar who would give strong support to your argumentShould always have a tag/signal phrase to connect the quote to your writingExamples of tag words: acknowledges, agrees, argues, believes, claims, concedes, demonstrates, disagrees, emphasizes, insists, suggests, observes, proves, says [that]If necessary, should also have follow-up commentary to explain the quote
  • In this exercise, you all get to decide if the sample of a student’s work is plagiarism.
  • Now that you know what plagiarism is generally and about the 3 different things you need to cite, we wanted to provide some practical strategies to help you avoid it in your writing.While you are writing:Be sure you fully understand any text you want to cite. this makes sure that you can incorporate the source into your own writing, so you aren’t just putting a bunch of sources together randomly.Take detailed and accurate notes. Always label whether you’ve summarized, paraphrased, or directly quoted. a lot of plagiarism is unintentional and comes as a result of poor note-taking. Write down all necessary citation information when you first decide to use a source. that way you won’t have to go back and find your source, and you can avoid possibly giving incorrect information.Color code your sources in text. Thiswill help you determine how much of your paper is other people’s work vs. how much is your own synthesis/analysis. Remember that sources should back YOUR argument up; they should not comprise the entirety of your paper.
  • When you’ve finished a draft of your paper:Read your paper aloud. this will help you hear if a paraphrase sounds too close to the original (you can tell if it doesn’t “flow” or sound like your own voice)Check your paraphrasing and summary against the original documentsMake sure that every in-text citation has a corresponding full citation in your reference listUseask if your professor has a class account or come to the UWC to check. is not only a good resource to highlight potential plagiarism, but also to determine whether you’ve used your sources effectively in your writing.While they may be a good starting off point, don’t just trust the citation websites! Always double check.
  • For additional or more specific help with citing, make an appointment with us at
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  • Academic integrity for graduate students

    1. 1. At a loss for words?214 Evans Library | 205 West Campus | 979-458-1455
    2. 2. Avoiding Plagiarism 2
    3. 3. Name that tune! 3
    4. 4. Name that tune! 4
    5. 5. The Artists“Diamonds are Forever” “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” Shirley Bassey Kanye West 1971 2005 5
    6. 6. Name that tune! 6
    7. 7. Name that tune! 7
    8. 8. The Artists “Georgia on my Mind” “Georgia” Ray Charles Field Mob feat. Ludacris 1960 2005 content/uploads/2008/09/ludacris-fsh.jpg 8
    9. 9. Name that tune! 9
    10. 10. Name that tune! 10
    11. 11. The Artists “Under Pressure” “Ice Ice Baby” Queen & David Bowie Vanilla Ice 1981 1990 3/iceman.jpg7a4f805b71a72.jpg 11
    12. 12. Is This Plagiarism?While researching for yourpaper on dance club musicsales, you find a chart thatsupports your mainargument. You downloadthe chart and add it to yourpaper withoutdocumenting the source. prmd=imvns&tbnid=I8rfvsiXda9ATM:&imgrefurl= imgurl= chart.jpg&w=499&h=799&ei=jF3_T66VM6Si2gXP9s2hBA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=1405&vpy=147&dur=158&hovh=284& hovw=177&tx=141&ty=168&sig=106090041932312229745&page=1&tbnh=147&tbnw=91&start=0&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r :7,s:0,i:162 iz-khalifa-hip-hop-rookie-of-the-year/ 12
    13. 13. Is This Plagiarism? You are writing a paper about African American spirituals and rock n roll. When you find an article that supports your argument, you summarize the article in your own words and cite it in-text and in the bibliography. 13
    14. 14. Is This Plagiarism?While researching therhetoric of anti-war folksongs, you find an article thatis perfect. To avoid copyingthe article word-for-word inyour paper, you insteadexchange key words andrearrange sentences. Youinclude a complete citationwith the page number and war/the source. 14
    15. 15. TAMU Student RulesPlagiarismThe appropriation ofanother persons ideas,processes, results, orwords without givingcredit to the source.From: 15
    16. 16. Plagiarism is…Copying and pasting from a source into your paperTurning in someone’s work as your ownUsing someone else’s ideas without giving creditMaking up sourcesResubmitting the same paper to different professorswithout permission 16
    17. 17. The Consequences You may not go to jail but . . . A zero for the assignment An “F” on your transcript Suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the University Mandatory participation in an academic integrity course 17
    18. 18. How Do We Avoid Plagiarism?WeCite! 18
    19. 19. Why Do We Cite?Give credit to the authorProtect intellectual propertyAllow readers to cross-reference sourcesAdd credibility toyour argumentHelp defend your research 19
    20. 20. Common KnowledgeIt can be easily found in general reference sources. Ex: America’s independence day was July 4th, 1776.It includes generally known facts, such as the names ofleaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws,famous historical events, or common observations. Ex: Barack Obama is the president of the United States. 20
    21. 21. YES 1. Is this information someone might disagree with? NO You YESCite! 2. Would a general audience know this probably don’t need information? to cite. NO 3. Would your audience know and accept this NO information? YES 21
    22. 22. Which of the following would beconsidered common knowledge? A. Smith’s study on brain development had 600 participants, aged 5 to 10. B. Ke$ha is the best female pop singer today. C. The capital of Tennessee is Nashville. D. 9,073 people attended a Dave Matthews Band Concert in 2006. 22
    23. 23. Citing Your Sources 23
    24. 24. The Big Three1. Summarized information2. Paraphrased information3. Direct quotations 24
    25. 25. SummarizingGives a broad overview of the materialFocuses on what the author is saying generallyOnly highlights the main argumentREMEMBER:Include a citation when summarizing! 25
    26. 26. Summarizing Original Source Summary According to researchers at the University of Herefordshire, illegal downloading is more commonplace among teenagers than originally thought, with half of 14- to 24 year-olds sharing music (Sabbagh, 2006). 26
    27. 27. ParaphrasingMore detailed than a summaryRequires understanding of the work beingparaphrasedKeeps you from directly quoting too muchExplains someone else’s essential ideas in your ownwordsREMEMBER:Include a citation when summarizing! 27
    28. 28. ParaphrasingOriginal Source ParaphraseThe average digital music Researchers foundplayer carries 1,770 songs, that, on average, 61%meaning that 48 per cent of teenagers’ musicof the collection is copiedillegally. The proportion of library was illegallyillegally downloaded tracks downloaded and one inrises to 61 percent among seven CDs were14- to 17-year-olds. In illegally copiedaddition, 14 percent of CDs (Sabbagh, 2006, p. 25).(one in seven)in a young personscollection are copied. 28
    29. 29. Paraphrase ExerciseOriginal SourceChildhood lead poisoning has declined steadily since the 1970s,when cars stopped spewing leaded exhaust into the environmentand lead paint was formally banned. Yet 40 percent of thenation’s homes still contain lead paint from the first half of the20th century, and 25 percent still pose significant health hazards.Cowley, Geoffrey. 2003. “Getting the Lead Out.” Newsweek, February , 54-56.Paraphrase 1:Lead poisoning in children has been in decline since 1970because cars stopped using leaded gas, and lead paint was nolonger allowed; still, 40 percent of American homes still containlead and 25 percent are still dangerous (Cowley, 2003, p. 55).Paraphrase 2:Although, according to Cowley (2003, p. 55), there has been adecline in lead poisoning in children since 1970, dangers remain.Even now, 25 percent of American homes contain enough lead tothreaten the health of their occupants. 29
    30. 30. Direct QuotationsUse direct quotes sparinglyAlways introduced by a “tag phrase” or smoothlyintegrated into your own sentenceIf necessary, should include follow-up commentaryto explain the quoteREMEMBER:Include a citation when summarizing! 30
    31. 31. Short QuotationsAs Easterly (2003) argues, “the goal of having thehigh-income people make some kind of transfer tovery poor people remains a worthy one, despite thedisappointments of the past” (p. 40).Despite the enduring controversy over the both thepurpose and the efficacy of foreign aid, its “goal ofhaving the high-income people make some kind oftransfer to very poor people remains a worthy one”(Easterly, 2003, p. 40). 31
    32. 32. Long QuotationsEasterly (2003) discusses one of the long-standing controversiesin U.S. foreign aid: If some of the flaws noted in this article can be corrected, the international aid agencies could evolve into more effective and more accountable agencies, much as national governments in the now-rich countries gradually evolved from gangs of venal scoundrels to somewhat more effective and accountable civil servants (with plenty of further evolution still desirable in both cases!). In any case, improving quality of aid should come before increasing quantity. This step is difficult but not impossible. (p. 40) 32
    33. 33. Is this Plagiarism? 33
    34. 34. Original Sample of Student WorkFrom its humble origins some Strictly defined, the term30 years ago in New Yorks refers to the entirebombed-out, poverty-ravaged cultural constellation thatSouth Bronx, hip-hop has accompanies rap music,risen to become a dominant which in 2001 surpassedcultural force both here and country music as the mostabroad. Strictly defined, the popular musical genre interm refers to the entire the United States.cultural constellation thataccompanies rap music,which in 2001 surpassedcountry music as the mostpopular musical genre in theUnited States. 34
    35. 35. Original Sample of Student WorkFrom its humble origins some Piekarski (2004) believes30 years ago in New Yorks that hip-hop “refers to thebombed-out, poverty-ravaged entire cultural constellationSouth Bronx, hip-hop has that accompanies rap music,risen to become a dominant which in 2001 surpassedcultural force both here and country music as the mostabroad. Strictly defined, the popular musical genre in theterm refers to the entire United States”(p. 47).cultural constellation that Though Piekarski makes anaccompanies rap music, important point, he fails towhich in 2001 surpassed explain what this culturecountry music as the most consists of.popular musical genre in theUnited States. 35
    36. 36. Original Sample of Student WorkFrom its humble origins some Piekarski (2004, p. 47)30 years ago in New Yorks argues that hip-hopbombed-out, poverty-ravaged encompasses more than justSouth Bronx, hip-hop has rap music; he argues insteadrisen to become a dominant that hip-hop is bettercultural force both here and defined by the culture thatabroad. Strictly defined, the surrounds it.term refers to the entirecultural constellation thataccompanies rap music,which in 2001 surpassedcountry music as the mostpopular musical genre in theUnited States. 36
    37. 37. Ask Yourself… Where did I find this information? Who is the audience? Have I used the proper citation style? When in doubt…CITE! 37
    38. 38. Strategies to Avoid PlagiarismWhen writing… • READ and fully understand any text you want to cite. • Take detailed, accurate notes. Label whether you’ve summarized, paraphrased, or quoted. • Write down all citation information when you first decide to use a source. • Color code your sources in the text. 38
    39. 39. Strategies to Avoid PlagiarismWhen the paper is finished… • Read your paper aloud. • Double check your paraphrasing/summarizing against the sources. • Make sure that every in-text citation has a full citation in your reference list. • Consider using a resource like 39
    40. 40. For More Help… Visit our website or call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you find answers to your plagiarism and citation questions. 40
    41. 41. We’ll help you find the write words. U N I V E R S I T Y J X I G Z P O E N H B W D E T L Q I L R D R C K K K P P T RCheck us out on… T I V R M X S T X J P T B C Z P B Y O U C I S K E W V J D A E N S I N N Q O G P E G I C J C T O B Y P X E G K G V E F G B S R M C E V Q R M214 Evans Library | 205 West Campus | 979-458-1455