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Academic Writing Tips & Resources

This subject guide is designed to help Koç University students on various types of academic writing issues that may be encountered as they work through their courses, including writing research papers, essays, literature reviews and more.


Plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterwards.

▪to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
▪to use (another's production) without crediting the source
▪to commit literary theft
▪to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

How can we avoid plagiarism?

When using another person's words, to avoid plagiarism one must always do both of the following:

  1. provide a citation, either in the text or in a footnote, and
  2. either enclose their words inside quotation marks or put their words in a block of indented, single-spaced text.

It is no defense for the plagiarist to say "I forgot." or "It is only a rough draft." or "I did not know it was plagiarism."

In academic writing, if you copy or paraphrase another person's words, or adopt their ideas or data, without giving credit by citing the source, you are plagiarizing - whether you had intended to cheat or not. And universities do not take plagiarism lightly.

Applying, analyzing, criticizing or quoting other people’s work is perfectly reasonable and acceptable providing you always:  

  • Directly quote another person's written or spoken words. Be sure to enclose these words and/or sentences in quotations marks!
  • Paraphrase another person's spoken or written words. Paraphrase means to re-write in your own words; merely reordering or substituting words is still considered plagiarism!
  • Use theories, ideas, opinions, research, etc. that are not your own.
  • Use historical, statistical, or scientific facts or data that are not your own.


Turnitin: Getting Started (For Students)

Your professors are the administrators of Turnitin and it is not designed to be used by students alone. If you are using Turnitin outside of Blackboard, your professor will create a class page and send you the code to join. Look for the assignment and upload yours as demonstrated in the video below. Keep in mind that some assignments are set up so that you can revise and overwrite your original upload until you are satisfied.

Before you submit a paper to Turnitin...

  1. Make sure your paper is formatted according to the correct citation style.
  2. Make sure you cited your sources both in-text and in the reference list.
  3. Make sure direct quotes are enclosed in quotation marks (for short quotes) or offset as a block quotation (for long quotes) and are properly cited in-text with the page number or page range for the quote.
  4. Make sure information you summarized or paraphrased from a source is written in your own words AND includes a citation for the original source.
  5. Make sure you provide links in your reference list to web sources.
  6. Read Turnitin's quick guide below or watch the quick start video on this page prior to submitting your assignment.

Turnitin Quick Start Guide for Students

SKL's Turnitin Libguide