Sunday, September 16, 2007

Punctuation matters

Gosh, this was a shock to read in today's Chicago Tribune.

The president of Southern Illinois University (SIU), Glenn Poshard, is accused of numerous counts of plagiarism in both his SIU doctoral dissertation and his SIU master's thesis.

To make matters worse, Poshard is is quoted as having publicly stated that he was, and I quote:

"too busy with other things to type quotation marks."

One of the first things writers learn is to get attribution absolutely correct. At a writer's workshop this weekend, I reminded the audience of this, when a panel was discussing research. Today, especially with the wealth of resources online, it is critical not just to double-check facts and sources, but to make absolutely certain you are quoting original material from an original or highly reputable source. New social web sites, such as Wikipedia, that allow contributions from the public are fraught with errors and deliberate mis-statements about politics, religion and more. So today and always "Check your research," and you may quote me on that.


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