edc_2011_26 - Chapter 26: Documenting Sourcesand Avoiding...

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Chapter 26: Documenting Sources—and Avoiding Plagiarism 267 CHAPTER 26: DOCUMENTING SOURCES—AND AVOIDING PLAGIARISM Chapter outline When to document—and why Guidelines Reference lists Parenthetical citations Key guidelines for documenting sources and avoiding plagiarism Include a References page that lists all outside sources Use in-text citations to reference ideas, quotations, facts, statistics, and other information from outside sources For in-text citations, include the author's last name or, if no author is given, the first words for that source as listed in the References page Use quotation marks to indicate that you are quoting verbatim from a source Documentation—or citing your sources—is a key part of any writing in aca- demia and much professional writing. This chapter explains why and how to document your writing in EDC. Failure to document your work is a serious violation of academic integrity. You can find yourself in trouble—and accused of plagiarism and cheating—even if your failure to document is unintentional. Thus, read this chapter carefully, and discuss any questions you have about documentation with your professors. 26.1 WHEN TO DOCUMENT AND WHY In writing related to engineering design, as in all academic writing, you need to credit each source you use in your reports, presentations, and essays,
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Chapter 26: Documenting Sources—and Avoiding Plagiarism 268 whether your information comes from printed material (books, articles, manu- facturers’ literature), websites, lecture notes, interviews, or other sources. Documenting your sources serves several purposes: Makes your writing more credible Helps readers locate information mentioned in your report Demonstrates that you are ethical Avoids serious academic and legal repercussions of using sources without acknowledging them—in other words, of plagiarizing You may be surprised to learn that people want to know how you are building on other people’s ideas and will even respect you more for knowing “the liter- ature,” that is, what else has been written in an area, rather than looking as if you’ve developed every idea by yourself (which would be impossible). You may also not realize that in academia you are responsible for giving credit to others’ ideas even when you don’t quote them directly. When you write, you’re actually joining a new community, a conversation that has been going on before you entered it and to which you are now contributing. Documenta- tion identifies that conversation and shows what you are using, questioning, and adding to it. If you borrow too much information from your source material, readers will wonder what you’re contributing to a paper or report. Your own voice—your analysis and your ideas—needs to dominate your writing. Whatever you quote or paraphrase should be used to support your ideas. Document your ideas as you go along; do not wait to add your citations after
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edc_2011_26 - Chapter 26: Documenting Sourcesand Avoiding...

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