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What is plagiarism, and how can it be avoided by using appropriate documentation?

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Janell Lynn answered
Plagiarism is copying other people's writings. When you write a professional document or scientific research paper you did or whatever, then usually you might use notes from other people's writings to support or back-up what you are talking about in your writings.Whenever you use other people's writings, you must tell who wrote it, and from what book or document you are quoting. Ahhh, yes, that is a better way for me to say it. If you quote some other author, you better tell who wrote it and what book it came from, what page it's on,  and what year the book was written.

Let me make up a silly little example for you...
I have found that if I throw a bucket of water at a temperature of 32 degrees fahrenheit onto a snake that is initially at a body temperature of 68 degrees, the snake will suddenly coil into a ball and become stiff for 26 minutes before it will move again. According to John Smith et al, conversely, throwing a bucket of water at a temperature of 110 degrees fahrenheit onto a snake will cause it to go into seizures.(1)

* then at the very end of your writings about the snake you will make a References page.  You will list... (1)John Smith et al, page 212 of his book, Cold-Blooded Reptiles in the Heat, 1982.

You give each of your references a number. John Smith was the fisrt one I used, so I would list him as (1) at the end of his stuff I talked about, and as number (1) on my reference page. Then I would put the next one (2) and so on.

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