Skip to main content

Bruin Success with Less Stress

Glossary of Terms

Attribute
In writing, attributing your sources means that you acknowledge to your readers that you have used or have been influenced by some else’s ideas, words, or other intellectual property. For assignments that you complete for you classes at UCLA, you will most likely acknowledge, or give credit to, your outside sources by meticulously citing and documenting them.
Cheat
According to the Office of the Dean of Students, cheating includes “the use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise; the alteration of any answers on a graded document before submitting it for re-grading; or the failure to observe the expressed procedures or instructions of an academic exercis” (“UCLA Student Conduct Code”). Outside of academics, people cheat on their taxes, cheat on their boyfriends or girlfriends, drive in the carpool lane even when they’re alone. Whether you’re cheating in school or cheating somewhere else, cheating is not a good thing.
Citation Style
Guidelines that determine the format of your citations, documentation, and overall manuscript. For example, style guidelines will instruct you on how to write your footnotes, parenthetical citations, complete citations, etc. Always consult the most up-to-date style manual.
Cite/Citation
In writing, a citation provides detailed information about your sources to help readers to track them down. Elements of most citations indicate who created the source, when it was created, and who sponsored or published it. However, required elements of a citation depend upon the type of material cited. For instance, if you are citing a journal article, you would need to include the volume and page numbers. If you were citing a web site, you would need to include the URL and date of access. See specific style manuals for details.
Common Knowledge
Facts, events, concepts or dates that most people would know or that you are likely to find in a general encyclopedia. Within your discipline, it refers to information that is generally known to people familiar with that discipline.
Copyright
Copyright protects an original expression as soon as it’s in tangible form. Some examples of copyrightable works include artwork, song lyrics, musical scores, written works, computer software, and much more. If you need to prove that you are the rightful copyright owner in court, register your work with the United States Copyright Office.
Document/Documentation
A vital component of the scholarly process, writers must acknowledge, or document, those who have contributed to their thoughts and new knowledge. Citation is a form of documentation.
Fabricate
According to the Office of the Dean of Students, fabrication is “falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise" (“UCLA Student Conduct Code”). Outside of academics, people fabricate excuses and stories for all kinds of things—just think about excuses people use when they’re pulled over by CHP officers on the freeway. Fabricating is essentially lying, so whether you’re at school, at work, or at play, fabricating is not a good thing.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
According to the Office of the Dean of Students, fabrication is “knowingly helping another student commit an act of academic dishonesty" (“UCLA Student Conduct Code”). This is like driving the get away car. Just because you didn't enter the bank and rob it, you'd still go to jail.
Fluff
Your instructors read a lot of student papers during the quarter—sometimes even hundreds of them. Getting to the point will be appreciated and will probably put whoever’s grading your paper in a good mood.
Intellectual Property
Basically any original product that is the result of your…intellect. Some examples of intellectual property include original song lyrics, poetry, music, photography, computer code, mechanical devices, medications, inventions—and the list goes on.
ISBN
Stands for “International Standard Book Number.” It is a unique number for a book (or something like a book such as a dissertation or other monograph). In a way, it is like a book’s fingerprint—each published book has one, and each ISBN is unique.
MLA Citation Style
In this case, MLA stands for "Modern Language Association." This professional scholarly association is interested in the fields of literature, folklore and linguistics, to name a few. To help standardize the format for literature written in those fields, MLA devised guidelines for citation, documentation and general manuscript format. Formatting guidelines in general are often referred to as “citation style.” MLA citation style refers to the formatting guidelines of the Modern Language Association.
Multiple Submissions
According to the Office of the Dean of Students, fabrication is “the resubmission in identical or similar form by a student of any work which has been previously submitted for credit... in one course to fulfill the requirements of a second course, without the informed permission/consent of the instructor of the second course; or the submission for credit of work submitted for credit, in identical or similar form, in concurrent courses, without the permission/consent of the instructors of both courses." (“UCLA Student Conduct Code”). Multiple submissions outside of academics—you wouldn’t file the same tax report for 2004 and 2005, right? And you probably wouldn’t wear the same wedding dress to your first, second, and third weddings.
Paraphrase
Restating, in your own words, someone’s words or ideas without altering the meaning or providing interpretation. Paraphrases are about the same length as the original. Always include a citation when you paraphrase.
Patents
Patents protect functional things or designs, methods and processes, and genetically modified plants. Some examples of things that can be patented include technological inventions, pharmaceuticals, and fruits and vegetables that you eat everyday. For more information, visit United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Plagiarize
According to the Office of the Dean of Students, plagiarism is “the use of another person’s work (including words, ideas, designs, or data) without giving appropriate attribution or citation” (“UCLA Student Conduct Code”).
Proquest/UMI
UMI stands for “University Microfilms International.” Back in the old days, libraries regularly collected microfilmed copies of theses and dissertations and UMI was who they’d contact to purchase them. Today UMI scans the theses and dissertations, and many of the old microfilms have been scanned too. UCLA has access to UMI’s digital dissertations through a company called Proquest.
Quote
Using someone’s exact words. Always use “quotation marks” and cite your source.
Record
Think about your (cell) phone bill. There’s a record for each of the calls you made which includes specific information including the phone number you called, the date and time the call was made, the various charges, etc. Like each call on your (cell) phone bill, each item (e.g., a book, an article, a film, etc.) that has been entered into the library catalog or other database has a record. The record for each item in a database contains specific information about the book, article, film, etc., and usually includes information about the author/creator, the publisher, date of publication, and other details. Being able to accurately interpret records while you’re researching will help save you time and frustration when you try to find the item in the library and when you write your bibliography.
Summary
Condensing someone’s words or ideas without altering the meaning or providing interpretation—you use your own words for this. Basically, presenting the original information in a nutshell. Always include a citation when you summarize.
Trademark
Trademarks mark or brand something, usually commercial products. They are used to distinguish one company’s product from other company’s products. Trademarks are usually graphic symbols like the Nike swoosh or the Converse star. For more information, visit United States Patent and Trademark Office.