WGS4224 - Intersectionality: Understanding

Incorporating Sources

There are three primary ways to incorporate information from sources into your project:

  1. Direct quote
  2. Paraphrase
  3. Summarize

Each of these needs to include the citation from where you found the information. Watch the following video for more information:

What about common knowledge?

As you can see from the video above, common knowledge is a very grey, murky area with very little consistency.  However, as noted, there are a few practices you can put into place:

  • Generally speaking, you can regard something as common knowledge if you find the same information undocumented in at least five credible sources. Additionally, it might be common knowledge if you think the information you're presenting is something your readers will already know, or something that a person could easily find in general reference sources. But when in doubt, cite; if the citation turns out to be unnecessary, your teacher or editor will tell you.
  • What is common knowledge to you may not be common knowledge to me - know your audience
    • for instance in the tutorial from Acadia University, the date of Canada's independence is listed as common knowledge - the tutorial is from a Canadian university.  This may be common knowledge to them, but not to us living here in the United States.
  • More likely facts than theories
    • Examples
      • Barak Obama is the president of the United States.
      • William Shakespeare is an English playwright.
      • Some whales do not have teeth.

Additional resources:

Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is often thought to be an intentional act, but it can sometimes occur unintentionally. The part of the guide shows some of the ways you can avoid unintentional plagiarism, along with some useful guides from other institutions.

Types of Plagiarism

  • Direct copy - cut and paste
  • Plagiarism by paraphrasing
    • just because you move the words around doesn't make it your work
    • seen as evasive editing and can be considered a larger offense
  • Self plagiarism
    • watch out for using things you've done in other classes; this is considered self-plagiarism and has significant consequences


Consequence of Plagiarism

Undergraduate/Graduate Honor System

  • Zero in assignment
  • Probation
  • Notation on Transcript
  • Dismissal

Professional Embarrassment

  • Stephen Ambrose a noted historian was caught using other's words without crediting them
  • James Frey's book In a Million Little Pieces is exposed as a lie
  • Jonah Lehrer made up quotes in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works
  • Marc Hauser, a noted Harvard psychologist, fabricated scientific data for his work

Student Work


Ways to avoid plagiarism

Ways to avoid plagiarism

  • Research journal
  • Keep track of what you are doing at every stage –
    • keep track of where you get things
  • Keep articles and their citations
  • Be aware that links to the article may be session links not permanent links
    • Look for persistent link on the web page
  • Citation style guides
  • Consult with your professors