Hundreds of students get into troubles being accused of academic plagiarism due to inability to properly cite their sources.
15 January, 2014
Good news! Our blog has been nominated for the best educational resource devoted to academic writing of 2013.
There are many sources out there that provide pop culture research paper topics and information, but they are not all legitimate. So how do you find the ones that aren’t? You follow this list of sources that might appear to be legitimate but are not:
Blogs can be published by anyone and they are, more often than not, not factual. They are merely a means of allowing any regular Joe or Jane to write anything they want. They can say whatever they want, give any opinion they want, and as the reader you do not know the credentials of the blogger nor do you know their expertise. Most people with blogs are only using them as a way to express their opinions, so steer clear.
Just like a blog, a personal website (such as one owned by a company or individual that is not .edu/.gov/.org) is not always a legitimate source. This is often unreliable when you are conducting academic research and should not be used. Be careful when you look at websites by “experts” in any field. A real expert in the field will have a peer-reviewed, academically published paper so use that instead.
Any wikipedia, or wikihow, or wikianswers, any of their affiliated pages, are not considered reliable or legitimate academic sources. These should never be used as a source. You can always find information and look at the sources for that information (if provided) and go directly to their primary source. These sites are historically unreliable and illegitimate because they allow anyone to write or edit content. If you use Wikipedia as a starting point, remember to use the resources provided at the end to continue your legitimate research.
Students, believe it or not, often think that a movie counts as a source. They think that something based on a historical event is a good source. Much like wikipedia, it can be a good starting point, but you should never rely on a quote from a film as your source. If they claim it was a historical quote, there will be other legitimate sources from which you can gather that information. Remember that while there may be some truth to films, they are designed for entertainment and not for your education.
Remember that the goal of research is to find facts. You want truth. You are responsible as the writer to give the reader facts and not opinions.
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