Keep track of the sources you use so it will be easier for you to create the appropriate citations!
Begin your research by following these steps:
1. Identify a broad research topic and gather general information
2. Evaluate your sources
3. Narrow your topic (what do you want to focus on within the broad research topic?)
4. Identify main concepts
5. List keywords and synonyms
6. Create a thesis statement
7. Collect data
8. Evaluate your sources
9. Begin writing your paper
10. Cite your sources
Primary sources are documents or physical objects which were written or created during the time under study.
Secondary sources interpret and analyze primary sources; they are one or more steps removed from the event.
Affiliation: Is a reputable institution connected to the site (e.g., .edu, .gov, .org)?
Audience: Working links? Written at an appropriate level? Information suitable for intended audience?
Authority: Is the author (not designer of web site) identified? Credentials? Contact info?
Content: Well-organized? Relates to objective?
Currency: Up-to-date information?
Design: Site loads reasonably quickly? Easy to navigate? Legible? Appropriate graphics? Font style?
Objectivity: Contains little or no advertising and free of bias?
Purpose: Clearly stated and meets objective?
Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense.
The Following Is Considered Plagiarism
Quoting vs Paraphrasing
Let's say that you want to introduce information from another source (a book, a journal article, or website, for example) into your paper. You could approach this by quoting the work directly or try to convey the information from the original source in your paper by rephrasing it in your own words. This latter approach is paraphrasing.
Paraphrasing Is A Valuable Skill
Paraphrasing includes the ideas or information from an original source in your paper by rephrasing those ideas or information in your own words. The key to successful paraphrasing is to use as few words as possible from the original text--be mindful not to change the meaning that you are trying to convey as you rephrase--and to cite your paraphrase. Without proper citation, your paraphrase could be construed as plagiarism.
Six steps to effectively paraphrasing along with a few examples can be found on the Purdue Online Writing Lab website: