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Plagiarism: Strategies in Research and Writing

Learning Commons LOGO-WEB2 smallWhat do Jane Goodall, Martin Luther King Jr., Vladimir Putin, Stephen Harper, George Harrison, J.K. Rowling, Maureen Dowd, and Joe Biden all have in common?

All of the above, as well as countless others, have been accused of plagiarizing their sources.

While we tend to think of plagiarism as some secret process done in the dark of night to cover for shoddy work, it is possible to engage in plagiarism simply by trying to incorporate information from sources you did not fully read or understand. Without a good grasp of your source and your topic, it can become all too easy to plagiarize your source without intending to be dishonest.

With this in mind we welcome Steven Schultz from the Writing Center with a few words about how to effectively use and attribute sources in your next paper.

Start by embracing the research process. Locate sources early and incorporate them into the very first draft of a paper. This approach produces better writing than shoehorning a couple quotes into the final version and gives you time to understand each source and its relationship to your topic. Sure, some sources—numbers, data, and statistics—may appear straightforward enough, but complex thinkers such as St. Augustine, Friedrich Nietzsche and Adrienne Rich probably won’t be. Also, use sources for more than just garden-variety support by including some whose perspective on your topic diverges from your own. Critical debate enriches a paper.

Writers use three techniques to integrate outside sources: summary, paraphrase, and direct quotation. An effective writer chooses among them like a painter chooses among paintbrushes with bristles ranging from broad to fine: each technique conveys a different level of detail. A summary offers the broadest overview of a source by restating a main idea, thesis statement, or a lengthy passage. Think of summary as the view from an airplane cruising at 30,000 feet: big features are enhanced but small ones may be invisible. Summary is effective technique for condensing long sources such as a research study or a book chapter.

Quotation is the opposite of summary: it preserves the original writer’s exact words and reproduces all the original detail. Quote when rephrasing an idea would lessen its impact or when including the original writer’s words enhances your credibility. We quote Ernest Hemingway, not paraphrase him.

Paraphrasing someone else’s idea means being able to explain it in your own words, not just restate it. If a writer includes an idea from an outside source by changing a few though not all of the words from the original but still provides a citation, is that an acceptable paraphrase? Not so much. Faulty paraphrases like this are called “patchwriting,” a term used to describe writing that attempts to paraphrase a source but fails because it either 1) retains most of its wording from the original source or 2) replaces select key terms with synonyms but otherwise reproduces the source’s syntax. Both are problems and usually happen when a writer doesn’t fully comprehend the material she or he is attempting to paraphrase. In fact, done well, paraphrasing is a great way to draw attention to a particular facet of an idea or offer a new interpretation of it.

Lastly, vary how you use these techniques. Not only will it make your writing style more engaging, but by adapting your technique to each source’s purpose, you’ll demonstrate to your audience that you’ve thought about each source’s unique relationship to your argument and therefore be more persuasive.

Are you having problems working with your sources? If so it is time to contact the Writing Center and make an appointment to work with one of their phenomenal tutors. Appointments can be made by phone at 610-519-4604 or in person at the Writing Center in the Learning Commons on Falvey’s 2nd floor. Act fast though because appointment slots fill quickly.

Robin Bowles is a research librarian on the Academic Integration Team and a liaison librarian to the Villanova University School of Nursing.



Late Night Studying and Stress Busters @ Falvey

BigBoy signIt’s been a long haul, and you’re almost there! To help you prep for exams and finish those papers, the Library is providing extended hours for the next two weeks, so you can hunker down and study in comfort. We will stay open until 3 a.m. most nights and until midnight on Saturday. And as always, the 24-hour lounge will be available too!

We’re also working with the Campus Activities Team (CAT) to provide a stress-buster event on Friday, May 3, from 3-6 p.m. Massages and snacks for everyone!

Mon. – Fri., April 29 – May 3 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Sat., May 4 9:00 a.m. – Midnight
Sun., May 5 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Mon. – Thur., May 6 – 9 8:00 a.m. -  3:00 a.m.
Fri., May 10 8:00 a.m. -  5:00 p.m.

Luisa Cywinski is the team leader of Access Services and editorial coordinator on the Communication & Publications team.


Genealogical Research in a Nutshell

genealogy imageJoin history librarian Jutta Seibert on Wednesday, May 1, for a 30-minute introduction to Ancestry Library Edition. Ancestry is an online database containing a wealth of historical data including U.S. census records, U.K. parish records, military records, and passenger lists. All Villanova students, faculty and staff have free access to Ancestry through the library’s website. The workshop will cover the basics of searching the database and interpreting results.

Location: Falvey Memorial Library, Learning Commons, Room 204
Time: Wednesday, May 1 at 4 p.m.
For more information, contact Jutta Seibert (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu).


Earth Day 2013: Eat, Participate, Learn

EARTH-DAY-HANDSPlease join Villanova University’s Earth Day Committee in celebrating the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day on Monday, Apr. 22, 2013. Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner will host the first event of the day at 8:30 a.m.: a panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking (the propagation of fractures in a rock layer by a pressurized fluid), in the Marcellus Shale formation of Pennsylvania.

Five panelists including Steven Goldsmith, PhD, from the Villanova University Department of Geography and the Environment, Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, from the College of Nursing, Jerry Mead, PhD, from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, Joseph Nye, Eastern Pennsylvania Program Organizer for Clean Water Action, and Susan Phillips, reporter for WHYY and StateImpact Pennsylvania, will discuss the pros and cons of fracking. Nathaniel Weston, PhD, from the Department of Geography and the Environment will moderate. A complimentary continental breakfast will be provided.

marcellus mapNatural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale has produced jobs, helped reduce dependence on foreign oil and produced profits for landowners who lease mineral rights for drilling. But it has also caused damaged roads; contaminated groundwater in wells, reservoirs and sensitive environmental areas; methane releases into homes; increased seismic activity and acidic runoff that causes soil erosion.

Following the panel discussion, Earth Day 2013 activities will continue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in lower level Connelly Center, where a sustainability fair will showcase indoor exhibits from environmental organizations, VIDA (Villanovans in Defense of Animals), student displays and raffles. Villanova’s new director of sustainability, Liesel Schwarz, will introduce herself to the community.

Concurrent with the indoor sustainability fair, Dining Services will host an outdoor farmer’s market with fresh local produce, breads, ice cream, beverages and free food samples from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds from the farmer’s market and sustainability fair raffles will benefit Tsinelas of Hope, the Philippines, towards the purchase of a mobile environmental classroom.

The keynote address, presented by Katherine Gajewski, sustainability director of the City of Philadelphia, will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Connelly Cinema. Ms. Gajewski will discuss Greenworks Philadelphia, a plan that sets 15 sustainability targets throughout the city, including energy, economy, engagement and equity, with the intent of making Philadelphia the greenest city in America by 2015.

The day will conclude with an 8 p.m. showing of the documentary film: “Planet Earth,” in 201A John Barry Hall. This film is sponsored by VEG (Villanova Environmental Group) and includes unique footage from all seven continents, giving insight into not previously seen species, locations and events.

All Earth Day 2013 events are free and open to all students, faculty, staff and the general public. Please come and enjoy as many as possible and hopefully take away a greater appreciation for the need for continuing environmental stewardship.

Donna Chadderton, a library information services specialist, is a member of the Villanova University President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee and Earth Day Committee.



Learn Chicago-Style in 30 Minutes

The research experts at Falvey Memorial Library will hold instruction sessions on citing sources with The Chicago Manual of Style on April 16 and April 24. Chicago style is used extensively in the humanities and social sciences for its clarity and flexibility. However, its eccentricities (different footnote and bibliography styles, the Ibid. system, etc.) make it tougher to get started with than the other styles.

These classes will lay the groundwork for Chicago style and demonstrate its ability to meet nearly any documentation need. Sessions will be held at 4:00 p.m. on each of the above dates in Falvey 204 in the second-floor Learning Commons. For more information, contact history liaison librarian Jutta Seibert (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or philosophy librarian Nikolaus Fogle (nikolaus.fogle@villanova.edu).


RefWorks in 30 Minutes: Never Type a Bibliography Again!

refworksRefWorks in 30 minutes: Never Type a Bibliography Again!

Got 30 minutes? Learn how RefWorks can organize your references and then produce your bibliography in a snap – and in any of the major documentation styles. Participants should bring their own laptops (PC or Mac). Students, staff and faculty welcome.

Sign up for a 30-min session. Registration encouraged but not required. Be sure to bring your laptop!

Rm 204, Learning Commons, 2nd floor, Falvey Library

4 pm on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

To register, please contact Barbara Quintiliano at 610-519-5207 or by email.

Barbara Quintiliano is a Nursing and Life Sciences Liaison and an Instructional Services Librarian.


Faculty Publications Highlighted in Falvey’s Community Bibliography


The Community Bibliography is a celebration of Villanova University community authors and scholars past, present and future.

According to the official Falvey Memorial Library website, the community bibliography takes the form of an “open repository of the entire published output of the Villanova University community. This extensive database offers a detailed view of our proud scholarly heritage, from our community’s historical publications of the 19th Century to the cutting edge research of today.”

You can access this collection by entering search terms in the box provided on the official bibliography access page or browsing  College or academic department.

To give you an idea of the scope of this collection, see the list below of 2012 faculty publications.

Arts and Sciences

Scott, Mark (2012). Journey Back to God: Origen on the Problem of Evil. New York: Oxford University Press.

NagyZekmi, Silvia, & Hollis, Karen (eds) (2012). Global academe: engaging intellectual discourse. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Barrett, David, & Holland, Max (2012). Blind over Cuba: The Photo Gap and the Missile Crisis. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.

Wieder, R. Kelman, Vile, Melanie, Scott, Kimberli, Brault, Erin, Harris, Michelle, & Mowbray, Stephen B. (2012). Disturbance and the peatland carbon sink in the Oil Sands Administrative Area. In Dale Vitt & Jagtar Bhatti (Eds.), Restoration and Reclamation of Boreal Ecosystems: Attaining Sustainable Development (pp. 13-22). New York: Cambridge University Press.

McCall, Timothy (2012). Pier Maria’s Legacy: (Il)legitimacy, Inheritance, and Rule of Parma’s Rossi Dynasty. In Katherine A. McIver (Ed.), Wives, Widows, Mistresses, and Nuns in Early Modern Italy: Making the Invisible Visible through Art and Patronage (pp. 33-54). Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Barnett, Christopher (2012). Henri de Lubac: Locating Kierkegaard Amid the ‘Drama’ of Nietzschean Humanism. In Jon Stewart (Ed.), Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, Volume 10, Tome III: Kierkegaard’s Influence on Theology – Catholic and Jewish Theology (pp. 97-110). Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Barnett, Christopher (2012). Erich Przywara: Catholicism’s Great Expositor of the ‘Mystery’ of Kierkegaard. In Jon Stewart (Ed.), Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, Volume 10, Tome III: Kierkegaard’s Influence on Theology – Catholic and Jewish Theology (pp. 131-154). Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Hirschfeld, Mary (2012). Culture as the Locus for Economic Relation. In Daniel K. Finn (Ed.), The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life: An Extension and Critique of Caritas in Veritate (pp. 69-71). New York: Oxford University Press.

Hirschfeld, Mary (2012). Expanding the Economic Paradigm of Development. In Daniel K. Finn (Ed.), The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life: An Extension and Critique of Caritas in Veritate (pp. 94-97). New York: Oxford University Press.

Hirschfeld, Mary (2012). The Ambiguities of Accessible Language. In Daniel K. Finn (Ed.), The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life: An Extension and Critique of Caritas in Veritate (pp. 116-117). New York: Oxford University Press.

Moreland, Anna Bonta, & Curran, James (eds.) (2012). New Voices in Catholic Theology. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Co.

Gentles-Peart, Kamille, & Hall, Maurice (eds.) (2012). Re-constructing Place and Space: Media, Culture, Discourse and the Constitution of Caribbean Diasporas. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.

Wilson, James Matthew (2012). The Fugitive and the Exile: Theodor W. Adorno, John Crowe Ransom, and The Kenyon Review. In John D. McIntyre (Ed.), Rereading the New Criticism (pp. 83-104). Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Hadley, Judith (2012). 2 Chronicles 32:30 and the water systems of pre-exilic Jerusalem. In Mark J. Boda (Ed.), Let us go up to Zion :  essays in honour of H.G.M. Williamson on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday (pp. 273-284). Leiden: Brill.

Giesburg, Judith (2012). Orphans and Indians: Pennsylvania’s Soldiers’ Orphan Schools and the Landscape of Postwar Childhood. In James Marten (Ed.), Children and Youth During the Civil War era (pp. 188-205). New York: New York University Press.

Godzieba, Anthony (2012). Quaestio Disputata: The Magisterium in an Age of Digital Reproduction. In Richard R. Gaillardetz (Ed.), When the Magisterium Intervenes: The Magisterium and Theologians in Today’s Church (pp. 140-153). Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier.

DeFina, Robert, & Hannon, Lance (2012). Cruel and Unusual: The True Costs of Our Prison System. In James A. Crone (Ed.), 15 Disturbing Things We Need to Know (pp. 83-92). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Schofield, Mary Anne (2012). Manning Coles: The Intermodernism Of Espionage Fiction. In Robert Lance Snyder (Ed.), Espionage Fiction: The Seduction of Clandestinity (pp. 55-72). Vashon Island, WA: Paradoxa.

Villanova School of Business

Avery, Derek R., McKay, Patrick F., & Roberson, Quinetta (2012). Managing Diversity Means Managing Differently: A Look at the Role of Racioethnicity in Perceptions of Organizational Support. In Jacqueline A-M. Coyle-Shapiro, Lynn M. Shore, and Lois E. Tetrick (Eds.), The Employee-Organization Relationship: Applications for the 21st Century (pp. 509-532). New York: Routledge.

Liberatore, Matthew, & Miller, Tan (2012). Supply chain planning: practical frameworks for superior performance. New York: Business Expert Press.

Doh, Jonathan, & Oetzel, Jennifer (2012). Reconceptualizing the MNE-Development Relationship: the Role of Complementary Resources. In Alain Verbeke & Hemant Merchant (Eds.), Handbook of Research on International Strategic Management (pp. 451-471). Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

Quinn, Dennis, Schindler, Martin, & Toyoda, A. Maria (2012). Measurements of Capital and Financial Current Account Openness. In Gerard Caprio (Ed.), The Evidence and Impact of Financial Globalization (pp. 15-34). Boston: Academic Press.

Kozup, John, Taylor, Charles R., Capella, Michael L., & Kees, Jeremy (2012). Sound Disclosures: Assessing When a Disclosure Is Worthwhile. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing: Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 313-322. doi: 10.1509/jppm.12.047


McCarthy, Leslie Myers, Park, Seri, & Mensching, David (2012). Development of a Warm Mix Asphalt Technology Evaluation Program (NCHRP 20-07/Task 311). AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways, Transportation Research Board.

Miller, Steven P., Dunlap, Brett I., & Fleischer, Amy S. (2012). Cation Coordination And Interstitial Oxygen Occupancy In Co-Doped Zirconia From First Principles. Solid State Ionics 227, 66-72.

Muske, Kenneth, Ashrafiuon, Hashem, Nersesov, Sergey, & Nikkhah, Mehdi (2012). Optimal Sliding Mode Cascade Control for Stabilization of Underactuated Nonlinear Systems. Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control 134(2), 021020 (11 pages). http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.4005367

Crawford, Robert, Nathan, Rungun, Wang, Liyun, & Wu, Qianhong (2012). Experimental Study On The Lift Generation Inside A Random Synthetic Porous Layer Under Rapid Compaction. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 36, 205-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2011.09.014

Caverly, Robert (2012). Microwave and RF p-i-n Diode Model for Time-Domain Simulation. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques 60(7), 2158-2164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TMTT.2012.2195024


Perrin Ross, Amy, & Smeltzer, Suzanne (2012). “Nursing Management of the Patient with Multiple Sclerosis”. American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, AANN and ARN Clinical Practice Guideline Series.

Sharts-Hopko, Nancy (2012). Health care reform: what does it mean for people living with HIV infection? Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 23(2), 107-110. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2011.07.003

Capriotti, Theresa, & Sheerin, Sara (2012). HAART Medications: Clinical Implications for the Older Adult. The Clinical Advisor, 15(5), 23-29.

Mariani, Bette A. (2012). Our Ethical Responsibility in the Transition to Practice for New RNs. Pennsylvania Nurse, 67(2), 4-7.

Trout, Kimberly K., McGrath, Joanna, Flanagan, Jill, Costello, Marcia, & Frey, Jesse (2012). A Pilot Study to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Pregnant Latina Women. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health 3(1), 2-5. doi: 10.1177/2150131911414430




The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics: a New Addition to the Library’s Online Resources

The Library is making The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics available to the entire campus community. The Encyclopedia is an online resource accessible through a catalog search.

The Encyclopedia, published in November, is an online comprehensive reference resource covering the highly diverse field of applied linguistics. Coverage includes “27 key areas of the field,” including

language learning and teaching,

bilingual and multilingual education,

assessment and testing,

corpus linguistics,

conversation analysis,


cognitive second language acquisition,

language policy and planning,

literacy, and

technology and language.

Additional features available with this resource include regular additions and updates to articles, as well as new entries, to keep the Encyclopedia current and cutting edge. It offers a wealth of additional material, too, such as sound files and direct links to cross referenced articles, creating a multifaceted learning experience. Entries are available in both HTML and PDF, enabling users to print in a clean, easy-to-read format, which includes citation and cross-references. The encyclopedia is easy to navigate and available 24/7 through the library’s website.

Image courtesy of The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics


New & Improved Searching in VuFind, the library catalog

By Demian Katz

VuFind, the library catalog, was recently tested and upgraded for the new semester. The most noticeable improvement is a more detailed set of values in the Collection facet of the search results. You can now do things like limit your results to Special Collections, main stacks, etc. Other changes are minor bug fixes and behind-the-scenes adjustments that are unlikely to significantly affect day-to-day use. The section below will take you through the changes.

Catalog Search Tip: Filtering By Collection

The library catalog, searchable through the “Books & more” option on the Search tab of the library home page, contains a mix of useful materials. Most are physical books and journals owned by the Library, but some are links to online materials such as free government documents. It is usually helpful to have a large variety of options available in the catalog, but sometimes things can get in the way. This week’s upgrade to the catalog system adds a new option that should help you find exactly the items that you need.

Suppose, for example, that you want to check out a recent book about Medicare. You can do a Books & more search for Medicare, and you will see results like this:











The top three results show up as books, but they are actually online articles, and none of them are especially recent.

You can sort by “date descending” to bring newer items to the top:











This is better, as the first result is now a recent book. However, there are still a lot of online documents cluttering up the results. That is where the new feature comes in. If you look to the right side of the screen, you will see a Collection filter:







This allows you to limit your search results to a particular area of the collection. Since you don’t want Internet items, you can click on “Main Stacks” to limit to items in our main physical collection. Now you get these search results:











The top three results are all books from 2012 that you can access in the Library.

Of course, these books may not cover the aspect of Medicare that interests you.  That’s okay!  Because you filtered out the unwanted Internet resources, the other filters in the “Refine search” box should now show more relevant options, making it possible to further refine your search until you find exactly what you need.

Let us know what you think about these new enhancements in the Comments section below.

Demian Katz , a library technology development specialist at Falvey, is a major contributor to the enhancement of VuFind.



Writing a paper? Check out these helpful resources.

With Thanksgiving behind us and the end of the semester fast approaching, the season for paper writing has begun in earnest.  Here at the Library, we offer a number of resources to aid you as you research and write.  Take a look before you get too swamped—we might be able to help you with some of the heavy lifting:

  1. Citation Styles: A Primer with Resources—This topic guide features resources for all the major citation styles. If you’re having trouble collecting and arranging sources, or if you’re interested in the finer details of a certain style, this guide can point you in the right direction.
  2. RefWorks Tutorial—RefWorks is a tool which automates some of the work behind citation gathering. Here’s a tutorial detailing how to use this valuable resource—definitely worth checking out if you have a longer research paper.
  3. The Writing Center—The Writing Center is located in the Learning Commons on the second floor of the Library. Make an appointment with a member of the very capable staff there as you build or edit your work, and your paper will show for it. Tutors are available to help writers in any field, and with any amount of experience.

As always, check out the Library website often for more information. Happy writing!


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Last Modified: November 28, 2012