American Psychological Association citation standard. The first question is how the author of this report would improve the author’s APA skills and the covered concepts. The other main question asks the author the main sources that will be used as a means to learn these important topics. Another topic that will be covered heavily, by necessity, will be the subject of plagiarism because there is a fine line between research and plagiarism. While many people think that plagiarism is about intent, people that mean no ill will can still plagiarize.
As far as a strategy that the author of this report would use to avoid any appearances of plagiarism and write in a scholarly way, it would include a few things. First of all, there needs to be a definition of what “common knowledge” is and what “accepted knowledge” is. There is also the need to define what needs to be cited. Indeed, saying the sky is blue or that the world is mostly comprise of sea and ocean are not things that need to be cited because they are known to be true by anyone with a minimum education. The author is not confused about the idea of stealing another person’s work without citation. For example, modestly paraphrasing a Wikipedia article and slapping the author’s name on it would be plagiarism. Further, paraphrasing too much material can be a bad thing as well. Quoting to excess is also frowned upon by a lot of professors and scholars. However, it is common to paraphrase clips and phrases of a person’s work before citing it. One thing the author of this report needs to be careful about is that the original quote and the material that makes it into the paper are not precisely the same. If they are, there should be quotes and the APA formatting should indicate it is a quote.
As far as a general strategy that the author of this report will follow, there are several items worth mentioned. As noted above, the author of this report will make every effort to avoid plagiarism in all of its forms and functions. The author of this report found a multitude of sources that describe how this works. Indeed, “cheating” and “sharing” often get mixed up by people but they are not the same thing (Bartiz & Hayner, 2009). Even so, opinions about this matter can very across cultures (DiMaria, 2009). However, the line is where it is and it should not be moved (iParadigms, 2014). To combat this, the author will always follow APA standards in all writings possible so as to get plenty of practice in. Second, the author will always cite if there is any doubt about whether a citation should take place. Third, citation should be a given if a source is being used to write a paper or report. For example, if the author is writing about an event based on the words of a news story, that news story should be cited.
The author of this report is aware of the fact that there is a bit of a counter-culture out there when it comes to the use or re-use of someone else’s material. Indeed, some believe that if there is no “injury” to the person being “borrowed” from, then there is no harm, no foul. However, that is not an ethical stance and it is not rational. If someone else comes up with an idea or string of thought, then they should be cited. They did the creation (presumably), they did the work, they came up with the idea and they should get credit for it. Doing otherwise would be unethical and improper even if the original author is not “injured” as a result.
Bartzis, O.L., & Hayner, A. (2009, April). ‘Cheating’ or ‘sharing’? Academic ethics across cultures. Slides presented at the AACRAO Conference, Chicago, IL.
Retrieved from http://handouts.aacrao.org/am09/finished/
Di Maria, D.L. (2009). Plagiarism from a cross-cultural perspective. Retrieved from http://www.al-jamiat.com/college-lifestyle/plagiarism-crosscultural-perspective/# iParadigms, LLC. (2014). Plagiarism.org. Retrieved from http://www.plagiarism.org
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