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Chemistry LibreTexts

Note-taking, Paraphrasing, and Plagiarism

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    The research process you'll explore in units 5 and 6 necessarily involves note-taking, and you will use note-taking in college and career. Consequently, in the next two units, you'll see instruction in different ways of taking notes.

    The quality of your notes determines the quality of your writing, including measures of authenticity. Too often I've seen students accidentally introduce plagiarism into their papers because they write from notes that contained phrases too similar to the original text.

    Copying an exact phrase from a text without including it in quotation marks is plagiarism, but so is using a phrase that closely resembles the original text. In other words, proper paraphrasing when you take notes is KEY to avoiding plagiarism when you write a report.

    Look at the examples on this website to know what is and what is not acceptable paraphrasing. Review example #5 in particular. When you take notes, be sure you have properly paraphrased the content.