Plagiarism

When writing a paper, creating a presentation, or using material that you did not create yourself, it's imperative to cite your work. 

Turabian is the citation style most teachers at Lawrenceville require for assignments and research papers. Each discipline has its own citation style which your teacher may ask you to use. Always confirm with your teacher which style is correct for their class. To the right are downloadable Turabian citation sheets and examples of other major citation styles. 

List of 3 items.

  • Plagiarism: A Serious Offense!

    At Lawrenceville, academic dishonesty and plagiarism is viewed as a major school rule violation. Here is an excerpt from the Lawrenceville School Student Handbook regarding plagiarism:
    "Plagiarism occurs when an individual presents another person’s creative or intellectual products (words, ideas, insights, images, etc.) as if they were one’s own without explicitly acknowledging their influence on one’s work, or when an individual submits work produced for another class or in another context without disclosing that the work was prepared earlier. While particular facts that are “common knowledge” usually do not require a citation, copying a lengthy factual summary from a source and presenting it as the product of one’s own factual synthesis can also constitute plagiarism."
    Why is plagiarism considered to be such a serious offense at Lawrenceville?
    • If a student plagiarizes, the student is compromising the student’s own integrity by presenting the words and ideas of others as if they were their own. The student is, in effect, trying to take credit for something that is not entirely the student’s own creation.
    • Besides the injury to integrity, plagiarism also fails to respect the hard work and creative achievements of those whose words and ideas an individual borrowed. A proper citation says: "Thank you for helping to shape my thinking" and honors the creative achievements of those who came before.
    • The faculty strives to help students develop their own capacities and understanding. When students submit work that is not their own, the faculty cannot provide the targeted, personalized feedback necessary for growth.
    • Proper citations also help future students and scholars track an idea, phrase, or image back to its origins so there is a record of how creative and intellectual products evolve over time and how they influence the works of later creators and thinkers. 
    Lawrenceville faculty use a licensed software product called TurnitIn to check students’ work for plagiarism. If a student plagiarizes, the School has an obligation to report this information to colleges and universities. Not surprisingly, this could have devastating consequences for college admission. Usually, if a student has committed plagiarism, she/he will be given a major school rule violation and will be required to redo the assignment, though each academic department has their own internal policies regarding the latter.
  • Plagiarism: Vigilance Required!

    Plagiarism usually occurs in students’ work when they are short on time and rush to finish an assignment. It is NEVER better to take a shortcut—it is ALWAYS better to communicate honestly and directly with your teacher if you are not able to complete an assignment in the allotted time. More complicated than this simple rule of thumb is the problem of sloppy (or rushed) research and note-taking, which is where a lot of plagiarism occurs. 

    When you are asked to use a source to write a paper, such as a novel, a textbook, an article, an internet site, etc., you will need to write down some notes in advance of writing your essay. The safest way to avoid plagiarism is to try to paraphrase/summarize the important information that you read, rather than just copy and paste (or copy it down word-for-word). This is also a much better method of insuring your own comprehension of the material. Paraphrasing takes work, and examples of good and bad paraphrasing are included below. In addition to paraphrasing, the other thing that students MUST do as they take notes from sources is to note down page numbers, and also to be sure to put anything that has been taken directly from a source in quotation marks.

     
    The notecard function in Noodletools is set up to allow students to do this. Some teachers have students use Google Docs and color code their sources, and there are still other methods, but in the end it all comes down to your own vigilance and attention to detail, both in your planning and research, and in your actual writing. Bottom line: if you include an idea (interpretation/analysis) or words that you took from another source, you must cite it to avoid plagiarism.
  • Plagiarism: What is it?

    Plagiarism is the presenting of someone else’s work (ideas and words) as your own. It is a form of theft or fraud, and it is dishonest. Plagiarism can occur through many different mechanisms: taking a text verbatim from a source and not putting it in quotes; omitting a citation (footnote); paraphrasing and not citing the source; paraphrasing too closely to the original; giving incorrect information in a citation… All of these are forms of plagiarism, whether inadvertent or intentional. At Lawrenceville, any form of academic dishonesty is treated as a serious violation of school rules and community values.
     
    In the age of the internet and information sharing, plagiarism has become both harder to prevent and easier to detect. Plagiarism is also more frequently in the news—it is a problem that is occurring well beyond the confines of the high school essay. In July 2014, the website Politico published a photo gallery of 10 high profile plagiarism cases, including well known author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, journalist and political commentator Fareed Zakaria, Vice President Joe Biden and even Russian leader Vladimir Putin! One of the interesting things about a number of these cases is that some of these high profile plagiarizers plagiarized THEMSELVES! That’s correct: you can steal your own work. If you wrote a paper last year, and you reuse some of it in a new essay this year, you MUST indicate this in a properly formatted citation, otherwise your new essay contains material that is not truly your own in response to the current assignment. That’s plagiarism.
     
    The website, “Plagiarism 101" offers a useful glossary of terms related to plagiarism (and how to avoid it). 

Resources for Generating Footnotes, Citations, and Bibliographies

Here are some helpful websites that can generate citations for you or demonstrate the proper citation/footnote for an item:

NoodleTools: A bibliography composer for all citation styles with helpful 'notecards' feature to organize your work. YOU MUST CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT WHILE ON CAMPUS- It can not be done from home.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use software to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself we strongly recommend the Chrome Standalone version. See below for an installation how to and tip sheet.

Annotated Bibliography: Overview & How-To

A bibliography is an alphabetical list of sources (books, journals, websites, periodicals, etc.) you have used for researching a topic. A bibliography includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, etc.) for each source. An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations should summarize, assess, or reflect on the source and its use for your assignment. 
 
What an annotation should include:  (from Memorial University Libraries )
  • Complete bibliographic information
  • Evaluation of why you feel this work is suitable for your topic.
  • Some or all of the following:
  • Information to explain the authority and/or qualifications of the author. For example: Dr. William Smith, a history professor at XYZ University, based his book on twenty years of research.
  • Scope and main purpose of work.
  • Any bias that you detect.
  • Intended audience and reading difficulty.
Where to look:
  • Author Information
  • For regular books, most have an “about the author” somewhere within. Normally, it is at the very end or very beginning of the book or it may be on the back flap of an item.
  • For Reference books or regular books you can always “Google” the author.
  • Content of Books
  • For regular books, you should look at the table of contents and the index. Also perusing book reviews (Editorial Reviews not personal ones) from something like Amazon.com will give you insight.
  • For Reference books or regular books you can always “Google” the work and see the publisher's description.


Sample Information/Description Annotation

An Informative/Descriptive annotation describes the content of the work without judging it. It does point out distinctive features.
 
London, Herbert. “Five Myths of the Television Age.” Television Quarterly 10(1) Spring 1982: 81-89.
 
Herbert London, the Dean of Journalism at New York University and author of several books and articles, explains how television contradicts five commonly believed ideas. He uses specific examples of events seen on television, such as the assassination of John Kennedy, to illustrate his points. His examples have been selected to contradict such truism as: “seeing is believing”; “a picture is worth a thousand words”: and “satisfaction its own reward.”  London uses logical arguments to back his claims. 
Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.