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Writing & Citing Help: Ethical Writing Choices

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Ethical Writing Choices

There are several sites out there that help those who do not understand what plagiarism is. Our goal is to help you make ethical and logical choices when citing sources. You cite sources to prove that you know what you are talking about, to use respected experts to support your position, to give credit and recognition to those who have done the research and data gathering, to create space or room for your argument and/or research and open pathways to new or expanded ideas, and because you are using someone else's words, ideas, work.

When you think about the reasons to cite, you need to start with yourself. Do you want to be taken seriously? Do you want to be thought of as knowledgeable and honorable? Citing expert sources makes your work credible. Citing sources gives support to your position and proves your knowledge. It also shows that you are honest, which makes you a more reliable source.

Think about the work, time, energy and effort that you put into a paper. When using someone else's work, think about the same thing. Now, would you want credit if someone else used your words or work? Yes, citing your sources prevents failing a paper, a class or being expelled. But there is more to it than simply not failing. As you have read above, there are many reasons for citing sources. No matter what profession you are entering, you want to be thought of as reputable, professional and honorable. Making ethical choices in your writing goes a long way to establishing your reputation in your scholastic and professional world.

Quick Lesson

This is a short video from Penn State's Rock Ethics Institute:

Self-Quizzes and Quirky Lessons

Give these a try.

A Great Penn State Plagiarism Short

This funky little video from Penn State's Rock Ethics Institute talks about Self-Plagiarism:


Yavapai College's Diagnosis: Plagiarism

This is a great video that explains why you should cite; the differences between quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing; what in-text citations are; what the difference is between works cited and reference pages; the difference between a quote and a block quote; and so much more. It is highly informative and a little corny. Enjoy!