Plagiarism is witnessed in two types of instances; one where it is intended and the other where it occurs due to the unawareness of the rules of researching and writing. Several websites and guidelines have been made available on the World Wide Web to communicate the importance of proper cited work, along with the citation formats to guide the researchers about the presentation of their work. Two websites have been chosen to perform a comparative analysis with respect to their usefulness and capability to guide the researchers to avoid any instances of plagiarism.
One of the websites is a well known source for citation formats- Purdue Online Writing Lab, while the other one is a writing tutorial service from the Indiana University Bloomington. The first website is coupled with extensive sections and headings that facilitate the process of finding relevant information. The tutorial service website contains the entire information on a single page with headings and sub-headings; the layout of the website is not as useful as the former website.
Purdue website has a small section about certain aspects that are expected from an individual’s work by teachers. This gives clear and concise points about the approach that should be adapted by students. These points also give a clear direction about how research is supposed to be pursued, for example, “Develop a topic based on what has already been said and written BUT Write something new and original” (Stolley and Brizee). Such comprehensive and brief guidelines are not present in the Indiana University service.
It is a common mistake that people tend to give credit to other people in an excessive manner and end up citing things that are not supposed to be cited. Purdue website addresses this issue and provides an extensive list of the things that are not supposed to be cited, for example historical common events, results obtained through personal lab experiments and generally acknowledged facts (Stolley and Brizee). This aspect has also been addressed by Indiana University website; however it is not as detailed and structured as it is available in the former website.
Purdue website provides effective guidelines about different approaches that should be adapted in different activities, for example, how to incorporate the process of citing one’s work in reading, note-taking, interviewing, writing summaries and paraphrasing. All of this data has been presented in obvious headings that help the reader to comprehend the information. Indiana website only provides tips about paraphrasing and putting quotes in the text.
Indiana University website provides effective examples about inaccurate and accurate cited work that provides the reader with practical demonstration of the process of citing one’s work (Writing Tutorial Service). Examples are also present in the Purdue website but they are not as valuable as the other website.
Purdue website seems to be more valuable and effective in providing guidance to the readers about the aspect of avoiding plagiarism. After the scrutiny of the two chosen websites, it can be concluded that careful analysis is required in the process of giving credit to the original author and creator of any form of information. Even small contributions of authors should be given due credit and should be paraphrased to avoid any charges of plagiarism. Correct judgment should be made about the status of any information being common knowledge or exclusive contribution, since these two things are required to be handled differently in the process of citing one’s work.
Stolley, Karl. Brizee, Allen. “Overview and Contradictions”, The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 14 Jan 2011. Web. 22 April 2011.
Writing Tutorial Service, Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It, Indiana University Bloomington, April 2004, Web. 22 April, 2011