Our Resources page provides a variety of web links for help with writing-related issues. If you’d like to browse the QWC’s library of handouts, click here.
Know the Rules on Your Campus
The QWC offers students a variety of resources for avoiding plagiarism. We suggest that students preparing writing assignments first take time to read the university’s definitions of plagiarism. On pages 34-37 of the 2012-2013 UA Catalog of Studies, the specific acts considered plagiarism and the violation levels and automatic sanctions for these acts are all described. Students should read this section carefully.
As defined under Level One Violations, plagiarism is the submission of a paper without proper attribution for sources used in the paper. So, if your paper on global warming includes many ideas from Al Gore’s book, but you did not provide citations in the text for Mr. Gore’s ideas and did not document his book as a source in your bibliography, then your failure to provide proper attribution is a Level One Violation– it’s plagiarism. Students also should pay careful attention to the concluding passage of the plagiarism paragraph, which warns that the responsibility to “understand the methods of proper attribution” is the student’s, and proper attribution is expected in all papers submitted.
Also included among Level One Violations is collaboration on any assignment for which the student has been specifically instructed to work independently. As with all violations under the Academic Integrity Policy, this rule also applies to work outside of the classroom, including, but not limited to, candidacy or comprehensive exams, take-home exams, and research projects, as described on page 35. Before making an appointment for tutoring, a student should check with his or her instructor about the appropriateness of writing center services for the assignment.
Another of the Level One Violations comes as a surprise to many students. We call it the “no recycling clause” because this section of the code prohibits students from resubmitting work completed in a previous course without the “specific permission of the instructor.” The rule means you can’t write a paper on Hamlet, submit it to your Composition II instructor this year, and then submit the same paper to your Word Literature instructor next year.
A Level Two Violation is described as substituting as one’s own any work prepared in part or in whole by another. Such an act goes to the root of the definition of plagiarism–stealing the work or ideas of someone else and claiming them as one’s own.
Student writers can avoid these infractions easily: do your own work, and don’t recycle previous work. Student writers don’t have to be fearful of improper attribution, but they do need to be careful and thorough. When you include information from a source in your writing, it requires citation. Students new to academic writing and proper methods of citation can get help. Professors, research librarians, writing tutors, QWC handouts, and the following links to web resources are all available to students who need help acquiring skills for proper attribution.
Academic Integrity: Message from Your Provost
University Libraries: Citing Your Sources
Our University Libraries system has a helpful web page titled “Citing Your Sources.” The page begins by explaining why we cite sources and then describes briefly the concepts of quotation and paraphrase. The page includes links to library resources on MLA, APA, and Turabian styles of citation, along with examples of each. Citing Your Sources also provides information on and links to RefWorks, a web-based bibliography manager students can use when working with many sources for longer paper assignments, theses, and dissertations. Students should also remember that the University Libraries provide subject specialists–librarians for every discipline on campus. Need help with research or citation issues specific to your field? Contact your subject specialist.
McGraw-Hill’s Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial
McGraw-Hill’s tutorial offers students training in the fundamentals of avoiding plagiarism and provides a generous supply of interactive quizzes. Carolyn Lengel, site author, reminds students that it is “a matter of both personal integrity and academic honesty to acknowledge others, especially when you use their words or ideas.”
The “Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial” is informative, well-organized, and thoughtfully paced. Students who need to brush up on the basics will benefit from the following modules:
- Avoiding Plagiarism (sample paper with quiz)
- Citing Sources (in-text citation quiz & works-cited quiz)
- Using Quotation Marks Correctly (quotation mark quiz)
- Summarizing and Paraphrasing ( summary and paraphrase quiz)
- Using Sources Accurately (accurate use of sources quiz)
EWC: How to Avoid Plagiarism (Macromedia Flash)
The Effective Writing Center (EWC) at the University of Maryland University College offers a Macromedia Flash presentation titled “How to Avoid Plagiarism.” Students who enjoy more interactive content will like the EWC show. Modules include
- Introduce Source Material
- Cite Source Material
- Reference Source Material
The presentation has quizzes throughout and concludes with a test so students can check their knowledge after completing the tutorial.
Other Avoiding Plagiarism Resources:
Rutgers University Libraries, “What is Plagiarism?” (very amusing movie!)
Prentice Hall Companion Website, “Understanding Plagiarism”
Research and Documentation: APA
Tutorial at APAStyle.org
The American Psychological Association offers students a 21-minute online tutorial. The 26-module tutorial provides help with formatting the manuscript, citing references in the text, and preparing the list of references.
The APA describes the tutorial as follows: “This tutorial is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of APA Style. It shows users how to structure and format their work, recommends ways to reduce bias in language, identifies how to avoid charges of plagiarism, shows how to cite references in text, and provides selected reference examples.”
“APA Exposed” by Harvard’s Dr. Wendy K. Mages
“APA Exposed” is a web-based tutorial presented by Dr. Wendy K. Mages of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The 51-minute tutorial has four modules: APA Formatting Basics, Citing Sources, Reference Citations in Text, and References. Dr. Mages clearly explains APA sytyle issues. Each module also includes a quick quiz to help students measure their grasp of the concepts covered.
As she discusses several APA guidelines, Dr. Mages mentions some Harvard Education faculty preferences and requirements. Arkansas students, of course, should take care to observe any special requirements in their own department. Please be advised that Dr. Mages uses present tense signal verbs in her presentation slides, which we presume to be a preference of the Harvard School of Education. The APA manual calls for past tense signal verbs. Overall, the presentation covers standard APA requirements and issues and is a valuable resource.
Diana Hacker’s Research and Documentation Online
Diana Hacker’s APA resource includes quick tutorials on in-text citations, the list of references, and manuscript format. Additionally, this excellent resource includes advice on how to find sources for a social science research paper and provides a sample student paper formatted in APA style.
Research and Documentation Online also offers help to students preparing papers in the humanities, history, and sciences by offering tutorials on other style formats–MLA, Chicago, and CSE.
University of Arkansas Libraries
Your research librarians here at the U of A prepare outstanding citation resources. The APA handout is especially helpful in explaining 6th edition’s new rules regarding electronic sources. The handout includes screen captures of an agriculture journal that show the location of the digital object identifier–or “DOI.”
The library handout explains the new rules regarding DOIs as follows: “The APA now prefers that authors provide the DOI (digital object identifier) for electronic publications, when available. DOIs are unique alphanumeric codes assigned to each unique article, chapter, book, or other publication by publishers who cooperate in using the DOI standard. You will often find the DOI displayed prominently in the bibliographic information for a publication.”
Resources for ESL Students
Conversation Club and ESLgold.com
Our ESL clients often ask where they can get assistance improving their speaking and pronunciation skills.The best on-campus resource is Conversation Club, organized by the Office of International Students and Scholars. The office describes the program as follows: “Conversation Club is a program designed for International students to improve their conversational English. It gives them the opportunity to meet in small groups, meet new people, practice their English and make some friends!” The ISS site also has a PowerPoint presentation with detailed information on the program.
Conversation Club groups meet once each week for eight weeks. Students who would like more practice might visit ESLgold.com, a site that has learning modules on speaking, listening, and pronunciation–you’ll see the tabs across the top of the home page. All you need is a PC with a Windows Media Player. The site also offers help with reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and idioms. Plenty of good quizzes are available.
Dave’s ESL Cafe
ESL students who want to work on developing vocabulary, improving pronunciation, understanding English idioms, and practicing grammar skills should pay a visit to Dave’s ESL Cafe. Click the “Stuff for Sudents” link on the left, and check out the abundant resources. Ambitious learners will appreciate especially the many quizzes.
All second-language learners should remember that they can make appointments to meet with QWC tutors to work on any language or writing issues. Our center also has a wide variety of grammar exercises. We’ll help you with any issue we can. Dave’s ESL Cafe, and the several resources that follow, should be helpful for time between classes, hanging out in the computer lab, or after you finish your homework at night.
Activities for ESL Students: The Internet TESL Journal
The Internet TESL Journal–a web-based collaborative publication supported by teachers of English as a second language–has a deep reserve of resources for ESL students. The URL below links users to the journal’s “Activities for ESL Students” page, which includes grammar and vocabulary quizzes rated “easy, medium, and difficult.”
Students can set as their home page the TESL Journal’s “Daily Page for ESL Students,” which features lots of cool stuff: “Slang of the Day,” “Quiz of the Day,” “30 Newest Podacsts,” and “Daily Pronunciation Practice.” The site also has quizzes available for your iPhone and iPod Touch.
The Internet TESL Journal: http://a4esl.org/
Advanced Composition for Non-Native Speakers of English
UA second-language students will love eslbee.com–a site that describes itself as “for non-native speakers of English who want to write in English for academic purposes.” All the great home page links are on the the right, valuable help for students writing at the university level:
- How to Write Academic Essays
- Student’s Essays
- Grammar Quizzes
- Student’s Websites
- Best of the Best (essays, downloads, free books, and more materials)
Advanced Comp for Non-Native Speakers: http://eslbee.com/
ESL Fun: Robin Simmons’s “Grammar Bytes”
Want to have some fun doing your ESL exercises? Visit “Grammar Bytes,” developed by Robin Simmons. We’ve provided a link to the site’s “Presentations” page, which offers visitors a choice of static handouts or truly amusing PowerPoint presentations on a variety of common challenges for ESL learners. Although all the presentations are good, the QWC recommends the following:
- Misplaced Modifiers
- Coordination and Subordination
- Fragments, Comma Splices, & Fused Sentences
- Verb Forms
- Tense Shifts
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Pronoun Agreement