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Wednesday, October 5, 2016 Ethical Writing

When authors write for higher-level institutions, they have a lot more work to do than we usually do. They have to present to boards and certain committees and even associations in order to publish their work. They’re required to follow certain ethical guidelines and agreements in their work. It may not sound important to follow the same ethical guidelines as accomplished writers, but the principles are still the same because ethical writing includes things from citing, answering questions about research, and confidentiality.

So how do you take higher requirements and apply them to yourself? A few things from the 6th edition of the APA manual’s “Ethical Compliance Checklist” can help you do just that:

Did you cite your sources?

This is important because it helps you avoid plagiarism, which is obviously illegal. It also gives you credibility. Citing is ethical.

Can you answer questions about your research?

You should know what your paper talked about. Refusing to answer questions could make the reader or professor think you stole your information from somewhere else or did not think critically about it.

Did you use informed consent?

If you did a study where informed consent was required, you should be able to answer questions about it.

Do all authors approve of the content?

If you worked on a group project, all authors should agree on the content and take responsibility for it.

Has confidentiality been protected?

If you used people in surveys or for information, has their confidentiality been adequately protected?

Have the authors agreed on the order of authorship?

The authors should agree on the order of authorship because it indicates the amount of work that was put into a project.

Do you have permission for copyrighted material?

If you don’t, that’s obviously unethical!

Clearly, these things are important in your own writing too. Make sure to double check that you can check off these questions! If you want more information about this list, check out page 20 of the APA manual, 6th edition.

Emily Childers is a Family & Consumer Sciences major and a writing coach at Liberty University's Undergraduate Writing Center. 

Posted at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
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