Documentation style is the approved technical benchmark for citing sources which the author of a paper have referred to, extracted or copied from with admission in support of a fact. It establishes rules or directives to be followed when citing references within the text, formatting headlines and margins and also when bringing forward list of references used. Documentation style is important in confirming validity of facts as it gives authoritative source for the information given, enhancing free exchange of ideas hence giving credit where it’s due .different field of study require different style but the most common styles are the Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association, Harvard and Chicago/Turabian style.
APA style covers manuscripts in social and behavioral sciences conveying literature review and experimental reports. It is a touchstone for guiding required level of excellence in all papers, structurally it must have; title page e.g. page header, running head, title, name of the author and the course, abstract, main body e.g. centered title, double spacing with standard point fonts between 10-12pt, parenthetical in text citation indicating authors name and year in which the cited study was published as acknowledged by Angeli et al. (2010) and reference page. Stylistically it should ensure that the paper is logical, direct, honest and written in concise, plain and clear language embracing personal pronouns and active voice.
Plagiarism is academic dishonesty where by an individual submits a paper as owns original intellectual work after fraudulently using other author’s words or ideas without acknowledging the source. It may involve cheating, lying or styling mostly committed, when students improperly paraphrase, deliberately avoid citing sources used and have unauthorized collaboration as they miss use the principle of common knowledge. The American Psychological Association (APA) ethics code embraces academic integral honesty which when strictly adhered to results into ones original work hence preventing deliberate falsification and fabrication of information in any academic exercise. It gives criteria for summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting other author’s work with due credit.
Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format, retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
Roig, M. (2003) Plagiarism in the sciences: What do we really know? Retrieved from www.metmeetings.org/old_content/pagines/downloads/ROIG_27Oct%20METM%2006%20plenary-abridged.ppt