Share this Page URL

Chapter 20. In the End Zone > Stop, Thief! - Pg. 230

In the End Zone 230 Author! Author! According to the U.S. copyright law, authors own their own words as soon as they are "fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device." Under the Fair Use section of the copyright law, copyrighted material can be used in other documents without infringement of the law "for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research." Stop, Thief! As you learned in Chapter 17, "Paper Chase," you write a research paper to argue a thesis. To do so, you cite other writers' words and ideas, giving full credit. As you write, you honor your moral responsibility to use someone else's ideas ethically and make it easy for readers to check your claims. What should you document? Give a source for everything that's not common knowledge, the information an educated person is expected to know. If you fail to give adequate credit, you can be charged with plagiarism. Write Angles Use square brackets, [ ], to add necessary information to a quotation. Plagiarism means using some else's words without giving adequate credit. Plagiarism is ... · · · · Using someone else's ideas without acknowledging the source. Paraphrasing someone else's argument as your own. Presenting an entire paper or a major part of it developed as another writer did. Arranging your ideas exactly as someone else did--even though you acknowledge the source(s). Fortunately, avoiding plagiarism is a piece of cake: you just document your sources correctly. Be especially careful when you create paraphrases. It's not enough to change a few words, rearrange a few sentences, and call it kosher. Here's how to correct the problem with parenthetical documen- tation: