“Avoiding Plagiarism” workshop set for Apr. 4

Andrew Paisley, Campus Reporter

By Andrew Paisley

Campus Reporter | @Andrew_Paisley1



How to cite sources, summarizing and paraphrasing will be some of the topics discussed during the “Avoiding Plagiarism” workshop, hosted by the English department and Writing Center, at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Apr. 4 at the Eastern Writing Center in Coleman Hall.


Kelly Pierce, English graduate assistant and workshop facilitator, said the workshop will begin with standard tips for participants, like how to quote people in papers, followed by participants receiving handout worksheets on how to do in-text citations in MLA and APA format. There will be copies of worksheets handed out during the program available for anyone who comes into The Writing Center.


Pierce, who helps students at the center with brainstorming, citation, sentence structures and other writing concerns, said plagiarism is the biggest issue among students who write papers.


“A lot of students commit unwitting plagiarism,” Pierce said. “A common misconception is that it is not plagiarism if they summarized or paraphrased the information, or if they think what they are writing should be common knowledge.”


Pierce said a lot of students are surprised when a teacher tells them they committed plagiarism, because they think the Works Cited page is the only necessary piece of the puzzle.


“We really want students to focus on their in-text citations,” Pierce said. “We will really be stressing the importance of correctly summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting in the context of students’ papers.”


Nayer Sultana, English graduate assistant and workshop facilitator, said this workshop will be one of the most important ones The Writing Center hosts.


“I think the workshop will be most important, because we will be discussing the importance of formatting, which of course helps to avoid plagiarism,” Sultana said. “Sometimes students plagiarize without even knowing it, only because they do not have a clear idea about plagiarism.”


Sultana said it is important to use proper citations to avoid plagiarism, because usage of new media and technology has increase a lot, and it is becoming harder to detect the authenticity of sources.


English professor Jad Smith, assistant director of The Writing Center, said the center runs 12 workshops per academic year and it is designed to help writers with all aspects of the writing process.


“Some topics included in our workshops have been MLA style, APA style, strategies for writing in-class exams, writing scholarship essays, making an argument and introductory paragraphs,” Smith said.


According to Smith, the workshops presented by The Writing Center have proven to be very successful for students.


“We have had approximately 120 students from programs across campus attend our workshops this year,” Smith said. “They have all felt that the workshops helped them in one way or another.”


The Writing Center is located at room 3110 in Coleman Hall. Its hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. Students who want to make appointments can call the Writing Center at (217) 581-5929 to book sessions in advance or they can walk in during its open hours.



Andrew Paisley can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].