COLS 1100: First Year Experience: Academic Integrity

Resources to support COLS 1100 coursework and introduce you to Library services.

Academic Integrity

Students at Columbus State are expected to uphold high standards of academic integrity. One aspect of this is avoiding plagiarism by correctly incorporating outside sources into your own work. This requires learning when and how to quote or paraphrase information, as well as how to give credit to the original authors. Paraphrasing--using your own words to restate information you got from an outside source--can be a particularly tough skill to learn. This page includes step-by-step instructions for paraphrasing, as well as links to the Library's citation guides.

Steps to Paraphrasing

To paraphrase, follow the steps below:

  1. Read the original text until you grasp its meaning; then set it aside.
  2. Using your memory, write down the main points or concepts. Do not copy the text verbatim.
  3. Change the structure of the text by varying the opening, changing the order of sentences, lengthening or shortening sentences, etc.
  4. Replace keywords within the sentences with synonyms or phrases with similar meanings.
  5. Check your notes against the original to ensure you have not accidentally plagiarized. 

Citation Resources

Citation is a way of telling readers what outside sources you used in research papers and other assignments. It usually follows a specific pattern, or format, that involves putting information like the author, title, and publication date in a certain order and with a certain kind of punctuation. Different areas of study have their own formats for citation. Here's the three styles you're most likely to encounter at Columbus State.

Paraphrasing Examples

Example 1

Original Text

If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists (Davis 26).

Unacceptable Borrowing of Phrases

Davis observed that the existence of a signing ape unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists (26).

Unacceptable Borrowing of Structure

Davis observed that if the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior (26).

Acceptable Paraphrase

Davis observed both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise upon learning of an ape’s ability to use sign language (26).

Example 2

Original Text

The automotive industry has not shown good judgment in designing automotive features that distract drivers. A classic example is the use of a touch-sensitive screen to replace al the controls for radios, tape/CD players, and heating/cooling. Although an interesting technology, such devices require that the driver take his eyes off the road.  ~Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi, Letter to a Massachusetts state senator, p.3

Unacceptable Borrowing

Radio show hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi argue that the automotive industry has not demonstrated good judgment in devising car features that distract drivers. One feature is a touch-sensitive screen that replaced controls for radios, tape/CD players, and heating/cooling. Although the technology is interesting, such devices require that a driver look away from the road (3).

Acceptable Paraphrase

Radio show hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi claim that motor vehicle manufacturers do not always design features with safety in mind. For example, when designers replaced radio, CD player, and temperature control knobs with touch-sensitive panels, they were forgetting one thing: To use the panels, drivers would need to take their eyes off the road (3).

Examples taken from, Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 5th ed. Boston: Beford/St. Martin’s, 2004.

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