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A Student Toolkit: Guarding Against Plagiarism

Kate Turbain explains in her book, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: 7th ed. Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 2007, that you can’t use an author’s exact words without either putting them in quotation marks or using a block quotation. Turbain also warns against citing with ALMOST exact words. The third warning is using the author’s ideas and words and then not using citations it at all. (1)

One of the most important ideas that Turbain states is, “You run the risk of plagiarism if you fail to use quotation marks or a block quotation to signal that you have copied as little as a single line of words.” (2)

Turbain explains that it’s better error on the side of caution to cite references. It’s almost always better to be cautious and to seem like you’re over using over using quotation marks. However, you don’t have use quotes for every common phrase. Use your judgment, be cautious and be conservative. It’s better to over quote than to be accused of plagiarism. Turbain’s point is just don’t paraphrase too closely- “don’t match words and phrases; you don’t want a word for word.”(3) Writing a paper is never easy and it takes more time to read and re-read in order to put things into your own words.

  1. Turbain, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed. Chicago: The University ofChicago Press, 2007. p. 77
  2. Turbain, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed. Chicago: The University ofChicago Press, 2007. p. 77
  3. Turbain, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed. Chicago: The University ofChicago Press, 2007. p. 78-79