The writing skill I would like to improve is how to properly use and cite research in my writing. I have struggled with this skill in my past academic writings and I feel that improving on this skill may help me get better grades. There was a time my professor accused me of plagiarism, which left me bewildered because I had not copied from anywhere. It was then he explained that I failed to give credit to the original authors of some parts of my paper, which is tantamount to plagiarism.
Guidelines for Summarizing were a critical resource as it helped me understand how to summarize an idea without copying it word for word. I can now comfortably summarize an idea or an article by using my own words to express the authors’ ideas or sentiments on the subject matter. In addition, this resource has taught me to always write in the present tense when summarizing and to always cite the author of the work, year of publication, and its title.
I also found the resource on how to recognize and avoid plagiarism extremely helpful. The resource has taught me that presenting another person’s ideas as my own is plagiarism and so is paraphrasing someone else’s work and presenting it as my own. To avoid such scenarios, the resource explained that I should always adhere to the proper paraphrasing guidelines. I should also place quotation marks around words that I have taken from another source. Finally, I should always cite all the sources in my text. Anyone who reads my work should immediately notice that I am communicating someone else’s ideas in my paper so that they do not think that those are my ideas.
I believe that mastery in these core skills will help me gain respect as a future professional. Every paper I write in the future will be properly cited and summarized, guaranteeing that I never have to face the shame of plagiarizing. I have also heard that academicians may lose their posts and standing if they are caught plagiarizing. With these skills, such a fate will never befall me.