I have a confession to make; while I love to read, I find writing intimidating.
For me, going to school and handing in assignments always caused me a great deal of anxiety. Consequently, when I decided to return to school, I was terrified I would embarrass myself each, and every, time I submitted an assignment. However, rather than live in fear of making a mistake; I learned to approach each assessment as an opportunity to improve my writing skills.
For me, the process of writing for school became less stressful once I understood how to write in an academic writing style. If you’re not sure what this entails, take a look at some of the books listed in the Writing Skills subject guide; or make an appointment with the Writing Centre.
Once you do this, you’ll realize a big part of learning how to write for school is learning how to incorporate other people’s ideas into your own work, while giving the appropriate credit. For using someone else’s intellectual property without proper acknowledgment is considered plagiarism, and this is bad (see the College’s Academic Honesty Policy). How bad you ask? Just ask Globe & Mail journalist, Margaret Wente, and the others listed in the Plagiarism in The News section of the Writing Skills subject guide.
Learning how to paraphrase, and learning how to cite this using APA referencing, will help you avoid this situation. Check out the APA Help subject guide to find out more information on these topics. If you want to test yourself and see how well you’re mastering the skill of paraphrasing, run your assignment through the Library’s Turnitin account; for Turnitin generates an Originality Report which identifies matches between your submission and identifies the passages requiring more work.
So, you see, we do understand the stress you feel when you have to hand in assignments. And remember, you can always ask the Library’s Information Services staff for help. We can even help you learn to make friends with APA referencing.
Brantford Campus Library