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My name is Sue Thompson. I am Systems Coordinator for the California State University San Marcos Library. In my years of working on library reference desks and with faculty on developing student research skills, Iíve found plagiarism is a constant concern. My experience has been that many students do not deliberately set out to plagiarize. Rather, it can happen out of relatively innocent ignorance, careless study habits, or last minute corner cutting ó all preventable conditions.

Plagiarism Prevention for Students has several objectives.

1. Help students understand what plagiarism is ó from the black and white of exact copying to the grayer areas of paraphrase and common knowledge.

2. Provide students with specific tools and techniques they can use to avoid plagiarism.

3. Help students understand the basics of crediting sources along with ideas on what to do about some of the difficulties in citing online sources.

4. Provide a feedback mechanism by which students (and possibly their professors) can see how well they understand the issues and solutions to plagiarism. These checkpoints can also help the student decide which issues they need to clarify further with their professors.

My goal is to reduce plagiarism resulting from ignorance or poor study/writing habits. Put another way, my goal is for those students who still plagiarize to do it with their eyes wide open, realizing they have made a choice to be dishonest..

I try to help students avoid plagiarism by explaining key concepts and strategies for appropriately acknowledging sources. The site itself also tries to model appropriate use of sources. I have included paraphrased and quoted material throughout to demonstrate how to use ideas from other sources in oneís writing with proper attribution. All the sources are web pages so that the reader can easily look at the original material for comparison.


Last updated 02/26/2004 by Sue Thompson
Cal State San Marcos Library