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1L Resources, Tips and Tools: Legal Writing and Analysis

This guide describes print and digital resources to help 1Ls succeed at Brooklyn Law School. (Karen Schneiderman originally created this guide and Kathleen Darvil updated it.)

Legal Writing

Plagiarism: Rules to Avoid It

plagiarism (pla´ j • riz´ • m) n. Taking the literary property of another, passing it off as one’s own without appropriate attribution, and reaping from its use any benefit from an academic institution.

Avoiding allegations of plagiarism requires knowing when to cite. Here are important rules and suggestions to follow when working with authority:

1. Acknowledge direct use of someone else’s words.
2. Acknowledge any paraphrase of someone else’s words.
3. Acknowledge direct use of someone else’s idea.

Careful scholarship, which is especially important in an academic setting, requires adhering to two additional rules:

4. Acknowledge a source when your own analysis or conclusion builds on that source.
5. Acknowledge a source when your idea about a legal opinion came from a source other than the opinion itself.

- exerpted from Law School Plagarism v. Proper Attribution, a publication of the Legal Writing Institute


Plagiarism: keeping out of trouble / Rebecca S. Trammell

Minneapolis, MN : Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

Approximate completion time: 45 minutes

  • Plagiarism is serious, especially for law students This lesson will explain what constitutes plagiarism, how to avoid plagiarizing, and will offer opportunities for students to test their understanding of plagiarism.