As has been discussed, including others’ work in your essays allows you to do a number of important things. It helps you to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about your subject and it provides you with a context within which you can create new knowledge. Also, analysing others’ work is a good way to demonstrate critical thinking. Finally – and perhaps most obviously – by drawing on others’ work you can strengthen your own arguments. However, to do any of these things successfully (see Chapter 4 for details), you must have the basic skills to differentiate between your voice and the voices of others, that is, between your words and ideas and others’ words and ideas. This chapter will introduce these skills. It will begin with a brief discussion of plagiarism before considering the quality of different sources of information and explaining how exactly to integrate others’ work into your essays.
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