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Citations, Plagiarism, and Intellectual Property: Develop Your Writing Process

Gather your sources

The image shows a page of an academic article with the author's ideas highlighted in purple and the reader's ideas written on sticky notes.

Track your ideas and
new information from the start

Avoiding plagiarism starts before you even begin writing. As you are doing your research keep track of which ideas come from your sources and which ideas, questions, and connections you made while you were reading. This will make citing your sources easier when it comes time to write your paper, and it helps you avoid accidental plagiarism. The example at the right shows one way to keep track of the author's ideas and your ideas, but you can use whatever system works for you.


 Are these passages attributed correctly?

Review one of these handouts on how to use another author's ideas through proper attribution and citation.

Check your Work

You should be able to answer the following questions about your paper or project:

Can you explain what you learned from each source?Do your in-text citation show what you learned from your sources?Can you map your ideas to your notes?

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