Gathering Your Information
Organizing and synthesizing the information you find is the way it becomes your own to use.
Generally, information is in three categories:
- SIMPLE FACTS - the WHO, WHEN, and WHERE of things; generally found in all your sources. Statements like, "Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876." These can be used in your presentation as facts in the same form as you find them in many of your sources.
- IDEAS, OPINIONS - This includes anything that is not in the FACT category. The best way to avoid plagiarizing this kind of information in your final product is to interpret, abbreviate, and summarize it before you record it. If you look at only your recorded version when you produce your final product, you reduce the likelihood of plagiarizing.
- STUFF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND - Don't use this information until somebody explains it to you and you do understand. Then it goes in one of the other categories.
Here are a few suggestions to help you record information in ways that are easy to organize and difficult to plagiarize: