Tips to help you avoid plagiarism

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Plagiarism is a hot topic in the Philippines these days, for the first time someone ruled that software was at fault on a plagiarism case because it did not detect that an idea was copied from somewhere else and was not cited properly. While this would have been a great feature request to the software company – there are actually ways to help you keep track of copy and pastes, and sources using the same software.

Tip #1: Do not paste directly to your working document, instead paste on to Microsoft OneNote – to keep track of your copy and pastes (as well as sources)

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Microsoft Office OneNote has this great feature that when you paste something there it indicates the URL / location of your source. Now you would know that the passage you copied is not entirely yours. The best thing is that you can go back to the source and get additional details such as Author, etc.

Tip #2: Use Citations and Bibliography in Microsoft Word

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Use the Manage Sources function in Microsoft Word to organize and keep track all your sources (books, websites, etc.). After entering all your sources choose a citation style that is appropriate for the document you are working on (e.g. Decisions, Papers, etc.). Then insert citations away, no need to consult those thick manuals and determine which format is the best to use this way.

Tip #3: Mark as Final

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Of course there is still a danger that someone might unintentionally delete your citations while reading your document. To avoid this make sure that after proof-reading your document many times (making sure that you are not committing plagiarism) use the Mark as Final function in Microsoft Word to make the document read-only and protect it from unintentional further editing.

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My open letter to our leaders, our legislators, and my countrymen about the Reproductive Health Bill

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Dear fellow countrymen,

My name is Chester Coronel, a taxpayer, a person practicing the Roman Catholic faith, and a citizen of the Philippines of legal age. I have long followed the issues about the Reproductive Health Bill and heard almost every argument for and against the aforementioned bill ever since I was in my senior year in college.

I would like to state my position regarding the controversial Reproductive Health Bill which is now being read by our legislators in congress.

First and foremost, being part of the Roman Catholic faith is not the primary reason of my opposition to the RH bill as many of the advocates would like to assume. My opinions are based on what I see around me.

As a taxpayer, I want my hard earned money no matter how small my contribution is, to benefit my countrymen. By benefit I mean providing them with better if not the best healthcare that the state can offer – especially to pregnant women in areas where people don’t have access to OB-GYNs. I don’t want any of my hard earned tax money to go to contraceptives – it is not a moral thing to do. Not moral in the sense that instead of allocating that money to go into saving lives through better healthcare, we plan to allocate money to make sure that people have a satisfying sex life without possible consequences. I know people would start throwing different fallacies that they can find at me after the previous sentence, but this is what I believe – we have very limited monetary resources dear leaders and legislators – we have to prioritize where to spend those monetary resources and subsidized contraception should be the least of your priorities. Who would you think will benefit if the government starts to provide contraception? definitely not us but some will do (hint: companies who create products for that purpose)

As someone who is part of this generation, I don’t want to send the wrong message to my would-be sons or daughters. We should not alter the meaning of the conjugal act by enacting laws that would do so. Today, contraception may be acceptable to some of us while we all consider abortion something that is appalling but think of how the next generation would think in a time where contraception is promoted and practiced. I wouldn’t want to wake up to a day where unwanted pregnancies would be considered a disease that would be cured with abortion or to a day where having children is the least of the priorities of a husband and wife.

To my fellow countrymen, let us respect the position of the Roman Catholic Church regarding this issue especially to those of you who are for the Reproductive Health Bill. Some of you would invoke the “separation of church and state” clause in our constitution so as to explain why the church should keep its mouth shut regarding the issue (depending on your interpretation) but we are all guaranteed freedom of speech and expression. It is the job of the church to preach and to adhere to her principles and doctrines.

Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

Chester Coronel