Monday, February 20, 2017

Law Library Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism

Whether you are writing a brief or a seminar paper, take care to avoid plagiarism. Your legal readers, from judges to fellow scholars, expect to be able to identify which words and ideas are yours and which come from others, in part to evaluate the evidence underlying your arguments.

The Moritz Law Library offers resources on identifying and avoiding plagiarism in the guide to Legal Writing and Research Success. Here are a few tips:
  • Keep track of your research. Use a research log to note useful resources, identify proper citations for each source, and trace your process.
  • Put quotation marks around quoted language as you work. It is too easy to copy and paste and forget to cite later.  
  • Do not worry about overciting. In both practical and academic legal writing, because all nonoriginal content must be credited, you will see more citation than often appears in the work of other disciplines.