Academic Honesty

[Academic Integrity] is taken very seriously and it is your responsibility as a student to know, understand, and follow UWaterloo policies. Violations can have serious consequences, affecting your grades, academic standing, and future career. [Integrity for Waterloo students]

In previous terms, several students have submitted papers that contained uncited quotations from other papers, and in some cases there were very few sentences written by the student.  This is unacceptable, and it is interpreted as plagiarism even if the student included a reference to the source(s) at the end. See Credit Your Sources for further information.

The intention of a review is that you read one or more papers, internalize the material, and then write what you have learned.  Your grade is meant to reflect your learning.  You should acknowledge ideas taken from other sources, often with citations placed throughout the content, and use quotations to substantiate claims that you or others have made.  However, the synthesis of the ideas into a whole must be your own, including choosing which parts are most important to discuss and how exactly you discuss them.  It is almost always better to make up your own examples to illustrate the ideas (from which you often get other insights as well), rather than using the examples provided by other papers' authors.  If you need to use others' examples or figures, you must include explicit citations to the sources. It is vital that you do not merely reword other people's thoughts without first internalizing them. 

Start by making a reference list of what you have read to learn the material.  Ideally, after having read the sources and understood what they say, put them away and write your paper, including references to a source when the ideas are directly attributable to that source.  Then go back over your paper, with the sources in front of you again, to insert quotations if you need them to strengthen what you have written (e.g., to include precise experimental or survey results or others' opinions).  If you use others' sentences or fragments exactly, you must put quotation marks around the quotes, as well as a citation at that point in the text; it is not good practice to resort to this too often in a single paper.  If appropriate, you should also include a statement at the start of the paper that the whole paper is essentially  a summary of what has been written in one or several other places (with  explicit references to those sources).  Nevertheless even in this case, it must be your summary.

Please see me if you have questions about this.