Ethical Research

By: Laura Distefano

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of presenting the words, ideas, images, sounds, or the creative expressions of others as your own. This is considered cheating and is a criminal offense. The two types of plagiarism are intentional (copying friends homework), or unintentional (poor paraphrasing/citation).

Some ways to avoid plagiarism are:

-citing or crediting source (bibliography)

-paraphrasing or summarizing the work (but don't forget to still cite since you're still borrowing the persons work)

-quoting (still cite source of course)

And, you don't need to cite widely known facts or info considered common knowledge (Example: George Washington was the first president).

Citation/Paraphrasing/Quoting/Summarizing Information

A citation is crediting your source by adding specific info about the author and/or where and when the article was written. There are many formats for citing info, but most citations typically include the author's name, title of the work, and year it was published/date.

One way to organize all of your citations is a bibliography (aka works cited page). Some websites that can give you bibs are:




and remember, cite in MLA format!

Paraphrasing is rephrasing the words of an author, and putting his/her thoughts in your own words; must be cited, and simply changing around a few words isn't paraphrasing.

Summarizing is similar to paraphrasing; it involves putting the main ideas of one or more authors in your own words, must be cited and focus on the main points.

Quotations are the exact words of an author, copied directly from a source, word for word. Quotes must be cited, and limit you quotes, because having too many quotes is the same as copying and pasting someone's work and claiming it as your own.


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Example of Citation with Parts Labeled

Trustworthy Websites When Researching

- Mid Continent Databases

-Ebsco Host (click on Explora Middle School)

- The CIA World Fact book (good for SS research)

-Tween Tribune


-CNN Student News

-Pics 4 Learning (freely usable photos)

-Morgue File (freely usable photos)

When generating research questions, it always helps to be in the advanced search bar, so you can get specific results regarding your topic. Also, if you're uneasy about information on a website, don't use it! Using common sense can help to determine if a website is trustworthy. Web addresses with .org, edu, or gov are usually the most trustworthy but there are many .coms that are trustworthy as well, just use your best judgement.