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Plagiarism guide for students: Step 1: Scholarly Conversations and you

Scholarly Conversation in practice

Why do scholars take the time to create exhaustive lists of the sources of their information and ideas?

Why are bibliographies and works cited pages critical to the scholarly conversation?

When participating in academic discourse, you “converse” with other scholars by analyzing, synthesizing, critiquing, and discussing their work. For the conversation to function, their thoughts must be attributed and cited in your own work.

What is your passion for University studies?

Studying in the University requires commitment: time, energy, and perseverance. 

Discovering your passion will help you sustain your commitment and lead you on a journey of self-exploration and discovery!

Reflect on what drives you to begin your research journey:

What is your motivation for undertaking University studies? 


Why study and research?

What is the Scholarly Conversations and why it is important?

"Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations. Research in scholarly and professional fields is a discursive practice in which ideas are formulated, debated, and weighed against one another over extended periods of time."

"Instead of seeking discrete answers to complex problems, experts understand that a given issue may be characterized by several competing perspectives as part of an ongoing conversation in which information users and creators come together and negotiate meaning."  Depending on your discipline, this scholarly conversation usually occurs primarily in journals, although books also play a role.

As a student, you are invited to enter into this scholarly conversation. Your research provides an entry point for you to engage with a community of scholars in your field. You do this by reading the works of others, building upon their ideas,  attributing credit when necessary, and perhaps even publishing your own work.

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from

Giving credit is important because:

It helps others find the information that you used.


It helps establish the credibility of your own research.


It connects your work to the work of other scholars.


It is one way that scholars enter into a dialogue with each other.



University of California Irvine Libraries. (n.d.). Why is it important I cite my sources accurately? Begin your research tutorial: Make citations. Retrieved from

What is attribution and citation?

Attribution is about "giving credit where credit is due." By acknowledging where information comes from, you show respect for the intellectual work of those who came before. An example of attribution is a citation. Citations provide credibility to your work and build a firm foundation on which to put your new arguments and ideas. If scholarship is a chain of connected authors, citations are the links that allow you to follow the conversation.

This is an example of a citation of Elie Wiesel's collection of essays Legends of Our Time

By participating in the scholarly conversation, you produce new knowledge and intellectual property. Attribution allows us to follow and join this conversation.

When attribution is not given for other people’s work or ideas, that is plagiarism. Learn more about plagiarism in the next section.


Lehigh Carbon Community College Rothrock Library. (2015, October 17). ENG 106 Literature Research Resources: MLA citation breakdown for a book with one author. Retrieved from