of the College
This tutorial was created in collaboration
with Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) at Mount Holyoke.
Staying Out of Trouble
Here are some signs that you might be headed
for trouble. . .
- It's 11:00 pm and you just started
working on a paper that’s due at 9:00 am. You've had 2 cups
of strong coffee, but you’re already starting to feel sleepy
and are terrified that a bad grade will ruin your GPA.
- When you read over the paper assignment,
you are confused about what the professor is asking for, but you
decide to just plow ahead without asking for any clarification.
- When you took notes on your sources
you didn't keep a clear record of what information came from which
source so you decide to just cut and paste and hope your professor
- You've borrowed a friend's paper for
the same assignment to read, just to help you get started on yours
and give you some ideas.
- You realize that there is absolutely
no way you can complete your writing assignment, but decide against
contacting your professor and asking for help because it is too
- The reading you have been assigned
is very confusing, so you decide to begin by reading the Sparknotes
or Wikipedia entry on the subject.
- Every source on your works cited page
begins with www.
- You realize that the prompt for your English essay is very similar
to the one for last year's philosophy essay. Now where is that file...
Strategies for Success
- Allow yourself plenty of time to work
on a writing assignment. Don't put yourself in a situation where
stress will lead to poor work and bad decision making.
- Read the assignment over as soon as
you get it and if anything is confusing ask your professor for clarification.
- When you are taking notes on sources,
always clearly label the notes with the author, source, and page
number to insure clear citations when you’re incorporating
these notes into your own writing.
- It can be helpful to read other students'
writing and give each other feedback, but reading another student's
paper for the same assignment should not be your first step in the
writing process. This approach could inadvertently influence your
own approach to the assignment and contribute to potential anxiety
about your own writing.
- Always ask for help when you need it!
Being caught plagiarizing will be much more embarrassing than asking
for assistance from your professor. Be cautious when using internet
sources. In most cases, internet sources should be used sparingly
and in prior consultation with your professor.
to the next section 'Using Online Resources'>>