Learning is a journey and not a destination. A part of this journey was to use Grammarly and SafeAssign. I will discuss my experience with those two platforms as well as my perception of paraphrasing and plagiarism. The internet is full of resources, so I will be sharing an online resource that supports scholarly writing. Finally, I will share two American Psychological Association (APA) formatting rules that I believe are useful for academic writers.

I have never used Grammarly before, but I like that I can check grammar in real time. I did not know such a tool was in existence and I will be using Grammarly for all my assignments going forward before sending. However, SafeAssign is not a new tool for me. When I went to Western Governors University, I used TurnItIn, which is similar to SafeAssign. It checks how much of your paper matches other known scholarly works. I wrote a sample paragraph with SafeAssign, and it was a 0% match. I like to see my works matching at 5% or less as a matter of philosophy. It is easy to avoid plagiarism if two things are remembered. Use thoughts that originate from your cranium and cite works according to APA rules and Walden University requirements. During this process, my insight was learning how to paraphrase better. Walden University (2012) states that paraphrasing is beyond simply rearranging a sentence and choosing synonyms. I realized paraphrasing is about turning the whole idea into your own words and then citing the author.

Scholarly writing is a term that can be confusing for many students. I had no idea what it meant until I researched the topic. According to Jackson State University (2015), scholarly writing is structured and seeks feedback from the audience. It would seem that this is the purpose of using discussion boards in an online learning environment. I believe that this online resource is useful, and I plan on adding it as a bookmark as a reminder of the essentials of scholarly writing.

As previously mentioned, proper APA style and formatting is essential in scholarly writing. A rule that I was not versed in was related to in-text citations with more than five authors. The APA Manual states, “when a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 175). Also, I did not know that the following rule existed. According to the American Psychological Association (2010, p. 170), presenting your existing work as new when it is not is the definition of self-plagiarism. I found this to be an interesting rule that I had not considered before and will make sure I never do.

 

References

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Jackson State University. (2015). What Is “Scholarly Writing”? Retrieved from http://www.jsums.edu/wrightcenter/2015/04/29/what-is-scholarly-writing/

Walden University. (2012). Walden University: Proofreading and revising. Retrieved from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/872.htm

 

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