Note-taking Taking notes from internet research

Note-taking Taking notes from internet research

Note-taking Taking notes from internet research Many students find themselves inadvertently plagiarising because of bad note-taking habits, especially...

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Note-taking Taking notes from internet research Many students find themselves inadvertently plagiarising because of bad note-taking habits, especially when they use internet sources. This usually happens because of careless cut and pasting from web pages. Students collect bits of information from the internet and paste them together in a document, without proper details of the sources, and with no distinction between their own words and those from the web page. When they start to incorporate the material into their essay, they can no longer remember or identify what was taken from the site and what is written in their own words. This handout will show you how to take good notes from internet sources, keep proper records of your sources and so avoid the risk of accidental plagiarism.

Key points:    

Never cut and paste information from web pages Take notes in your own words directly from the web page Read the information on the page, make your decision about what is relevant to your topic and write or type it in your own words – immediately. Record the full details of the web page - immediately

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BAD NOTES: Text-matching in academic papers: among the 181 papers they have identified so far as duplicates, 85% of the text is similar on average, but one-quarter share close to 100%. (Nature website) GOOD NOTES: TMS identified high levels of plagiarism in published academic papers – one study found almost 200 papers that matched more than 80% of the text from earlier papers (Source: Declan Butler. Entire-paper plagiarism caught by software. Nature 455, 715 (2008) [online at:]

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BAD NOTES: The quantitative information reported to the students by the software offered less assistance in determining if plagiarism had occurred than the more detailed information to be found in careful interpretation of the text-matching reports. GOOD NOTES: Studies have shown that individual analysis of text-matching reports is much more useful for students than just looking at numbers. (Source: Dominic Keuskamp and Regina Sliuzas, Plagiarism prevention or detection? The contribution of text-matching software to education about academic integrity. Journal of Academic Language & Learning Vol. 1, No. 1, 2007, A91-A99.) [online at:] 3 Academic Skills Advice service

BAD NOTES: A review of the literature reveals that plagiarism is widespread in any level of the society. There are several cases in which authors, historians, and even a university president faced accusation of plagiarism. This article, however, specifically focuses on students' plagiarism which is a rising problem not just in the U.S.A. but all over the world. The availability of the Internet entices students to do 'cut and paste' plagiarism. As Prof. Susan Bassnett from University of Warwick indicates "Across UK universities, we now have a cut and paste culture which is becoming difficult to detect" (Adenekan, 2003). The recent plagiarism case flashed in the media involved a Harvard University Sophomore student who was accused of using plagiarized material from multiple sources in her book 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life' (Madray, 2007). A Wall Street Journal, August 2006 article reveals engineering students' plagiarism at Ohio University (Tomsho, 2006). Another news article reports how rampant plagiarism is at Oxford University, one of the premier academic institutions in the world (Smith, 2006). In a noteworthy article in 2006, Prof. Grafen mentioned that 'vigilance is required for the sake of the education our 4 Academic Skills Advice service

students receive, both in the substance of the subject and in the proper scholarly practice; and also in order not to create implicit understandings that plagiarism is acceptable in practice, despite preaching and signing of affidavits' (Smith, 2006). Webology

GOOD NOTES: Plagiarism = increasing problem in UK and US, even at top institutions like Oxford and Harvard. (Chaudhury, 2008) Academics complain of a “cut and paste culture” (Adenekan, 2003, cited in Chaudhury, 2008). Source: Jayati Chaudhuri, Deterring digital plagiarism, how effective is the digital detection process? Webology, Volume 5, Number 1, March, 2008 [Online at:]

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