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Avoiding Plagiarism

Need help avoiding plagiarism? Learn what plagiarism is, common plagiarism issues, and tutorials to help you avoid plagiarizing!

Common Knowledge

Common knowledge is information you can expect a regular person to know. For example:

  • There are 3 feet in a yard.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a US President.
  • The Civil War lasted from 1861-1865.

Common knowledge is dependent upon your audience! When speaking to a group of colleagues, more specialized knowledge is common knowledge as your audience is specialists in your field, rather than regular people.

Common Knowledge for Physicians & Pharmacists

Specialized knowledge in your field can be considered common knowledge, but only if your audience is individuals in your field!

For physicians & pharmacists, this includes:

  • Drug dosages/Administration methods
    • Naproxen (325 mg tablet) should be taken orally every 8-12 hours. No more than 3 tablets may be taken per day.
  • Technical names
    • Gastroenteritis is the clinical name for the stomach flu. Dehydration is the most common problem in patients with gastroenteritis.
    • Acetaminophen is the generic name for Tylenol.
    • Gleevec is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
  • Test/Treatment names
    • An ECG is used to diagnose:
      • Arrhythmias
      • Coronary artery disease
      • Enlargement of the heart
      • Faster than normal heart rate (tachycardia)
      • Heart valve disease
      • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
      • Past heart attack
      • Present or impending heart attack
      • Slower than normal heart rate (bradycardia)
    • Cardiac catheterization is done to show the amount of plaque in one's arteries
    • A biopsy takes a tissue sample from an area suspected to have cancer; the sample is checked for cancer cells.
  • Study types
    • randomized controlled trial
    • case report
    • meta-analysis
    • systematic review
  • Words that are part of the jargon in your field should not be cited!

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