Archive for November, 2012


What exactly is plagiarism? This is a concept that most students do not understand. As a professor it has been my experience that most students are not even aware that they may be committing plagiarism. However, as I tell my students, if it does not come from you then you must cite. Citing information that does not come from you is the first step in ensuring that plagiarism is not done. The following is what can constitute plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else’s work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not

(, n.d., para. 4).

So how does one prevent plagiarism? Well there are steps you can take and things I do myself if I need to write a paper or post in a discussion. When you are planning to write you want to begin with the following:

  • Plan how to use references in your paper.
  • Take notes from your references.
  • When in doubt, cite.
  • Paraphrase as much as you can instead of just copying from your source. This also helps to demonstrate that you understand the material.
  • Make sure the sites you use are credible. For example, sites such as Wikipedia,¬†should not be used as a reference because they can be changed. They can be used to seek further references, but they should not be used alone.

Other suggestions I have for students is to get familiar if their college has a Writing Center. Most Writing Centers have samples available and some may offer tutors to answer any questions. Other sites to help understand how to write proper references and avoid plagiarism are below.

The end result should be that as a student you need to be proactive in your learning. Take the time to research how to properly write in-text citations and references. Try to not just copy and paste a bunch of quotes as this does not show the reader and the professor that you truely understand what you wrote – paraphrase. Remember, if it did not come from you then you must cite (in-text citations and proper full referencing).

Sites to help on Plagiarism:

Plagiarism Tutorial:

APA Website: (n.d.). What is plagiarism?. Retrieved from


Kevin Patton is one of the authors of a great textbook that we use in our Anatomy and Physiology course. He writes a blog with a lot of great information. He recently posted a video to help students understand cerebrospinal fluid which is an important part of the brain. So I wanted to share that video with you along with the great site designed by Patton.

Site for Kevin Patton: The A&P Student by Kevin Patton: Flow of Cerbrospinal Fluid

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