Working with a Task Scaffold

One of the best ways to avoid plagiarism is to collect the relevant information that you find during your research in a  task scaffold (or 'information file') or that is a completely separate file from your final essay, report or presentation. See an example of a scaffold here.

You can use the information recorded in the scaffold to create your own sentences and paragraphs in a new file that will become your final assignment.

Research information  ⇒  Collect valuable parts in your task scaffold  ⇒  Create your final assignment

This three-step process should help you to avoid having any text in your final assignment that has been directly copied from an information resource. You should create a topic plan and set out your scaffold using the subheadings that you will eventually use in your final assignment. This way you are organising the information as you collect it.

Creating a GoogleDocs scaffold at the start of the research process is a great first step, as you can access the file from home or school and share it with classmates if you are doing a group task. You can copy and paste information from the internet straight into your file, as it is not your final assignment that you are presenting as all your own work.

You can add to this file the notes that you take from books and other print resources. Remember to always add the information you need for your bibliography whenever you take any information from an information resource.

Researching on the internet with Google Docs

Adding valuable information to your scaffold from research done using the internet and also adding the details of websites needed for your bibliography is made easy when you use GoogleDocs. The image below shows a GoogleDocs page where the research tools sidebar on the right has been activated by going to the Tools menu and selecting Research:

You can search for information by typing your query into the search bar. Clicking on the name of a site in the results will open the site in a new page. Information can be copied from a website and pasted into the information file. If you hover the mouse over the details of the website you used in the research sidebar and click the 'cite' button that appears it will add a number to the text and the details for your bibliography at the bottom of the page. 

Researching on the internet with the Chrome browser and Citemaker

If you are using the Chrome browser and would rather use the full Google search window that offers search tools and advanced search features then use the free bibliography generator extension called CiteMaker and paste your bibliography entries for websites into your scaffold.

First, go to the BDC Library & Information services homepage and add the Citemaker free extension for Chrome to your browser using the link in the left sidebar:

This will place a yellow double flag symbol in the top right section of your browser window. When you are viewing a website that you will take information from click the Citemaker symbol to see the bibliography entry for the website. Copy and paste the citation into your scaffold or bibliography:





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