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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom


CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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Chapter Fourteen: Citations, Plagiarism, and Not Getting Fired for Dishonesty


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Citations, Plagiarism, and Not Getting Fired for Dishonesty

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else’s ideas or words.

We live in a world of copying. We like, share, repost, and retweet as a part of our public social interactions. Celebrities and public figures seem to copy each other’s speeches, jokes, comments all the time.

So how do you distinguish between this activity and plagiarism? In school and on most jobs, plagiarism is using other people’s words, images, and ideas as your own. It qualifies as plagiarism whether you meant to do it or not. The easiest way not to plagiarize is to always cite your information and much of this chapter will discuss that. Overall, this discussion of plagiarism looks at issues surrounding the use of other people’s work and will address the reasons it happens, how to avoid it, as well as what can happen if you do it.

How to Avoid Plagiarizing

You must cite anything that you quote and any ideas that you have read and rephrased.

The easiest way to never plagiarize is to always, always, always cite what you write based on other people’s work.1 Very rarely are students, or people in general, ← 179 | 180 → expected to come up with a truly unique idea, and most of the ideas that you do develop will come from your reading materials. Reference them.

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