Prevent plagiarism and spare your paper

By Amber Paramo

East Los Angeles College library offers a variety of workshops throughout the year, one of them being on how to cite properly and avoid plagiarism.

Plagiarism is stealing someone else’s work and failing to give credit to the source. A person’s work can range from written articles, essays, books, websites and direct spoken words.

Amy Guy is part of the Helen Miller Bailey Library personnel and is in charge of hosting the Cite Right workshop.

Guy feels responsible to bring awareness to the students in our campus about the importance of citing properly. The purpose of the workshop is to learn how to give credit to the sources and not take the credit.

Plagiarism can be accidental or purposely done when students get frustrated and choose to take the easy road. “People get desperate and plagiarize. It is easy to do,” said Guy.

There are different citation formats depending on the writing style. Some of the most common used are MLA, APA and Chicago, all three unique in citing.

The work cited page informs the reader in full detail where information searched was taken from.

Professors in colleges and universities determine how much research was invested by simply looking at the work cited page. “Teachers always flip back there first. This gives them a clue about the paper and how valuable the information is,” said Guy.

During the workshop, Guy informs students about in-text citation, direct quotes and signal phrases. Guy provides a variety of examples of how students can properly incorporate quotes by paraphrasing or using direct quotes.

Other resources are also offered, including online tools that can be easily accessed at any time on the Internet.

Easybib.com and Worldcat.org are two websites that provide step-by-step instructions in the correct way to cite. “These websites walk you through the process of creating citations because there are certain rules and formulations when creating a citation,” said Guy.

There are serious consequences for plagiarism. In her seven years of experience as a student, and now librarian, Guy has seen various scenarios dealing with plagiarism.  “A student at UCLA got his Ph.D. revoked for… plagiarizing,” said Guy.

Currently at ELAC, if a student is caught plagiarising, that student will be expelled and not accepted at any other college in the Los Angeles Community College District.

Students can sign up in person at the library or on ELAC’s website by clicking on the library tab for future cite workshops. Other workshops are available throughout the semester in the library.

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