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
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