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1. First, use your own ideas. It should be your paper and your ideas that should be the focus.
2. Use the ideas of others sparingly--only to support or reinforce your own argument.
3. When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use.
4. Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.
5. A good strategy is to take 30 minutes and write a short draft of your paper without using any notes. It will help you think through what you want to say and help prevent your being too dependent upon your sources.
(taken from the WMU Libraries SearchPath tutorial Module 6)