What is Plagiarism?
Citing your sources gives you credibility as a researcher and helps you give credit where credit is due.
Plagiarism is using someone else's work and passing it off as one's own. The term comes from the Latin word plagiarius, which means kidnapper.
What Isn't Plagiarism?
Here are some examples of text that doesn't need to be cited in your research papers.
1. When borrowing an author's wording for your own paper use quotation marks and include a complete citation (author name, date of publication, page reference) that can easily lead the reader directly to the source.
2. Electronic sources must also be acknowledged.
3. When borrowing another author's views, ideas or opinions for your own paper be sure to give credit to the original thinker.
4. Paraphrasing another's ideas without clearly citing the source also counts as plagiarism. Give a complete citation that can easily lead the reader directly to the source.
5. Work used previously in another class cannot be re-used (self-plagiarism) without permission from the instructor.
Types of Plagiarism
Intentional plagiarism is often treated more severely than unintentional plagiarism. Students accused of plagiarism often admit that they knew what they were doing was wrong, but "had no choice" because they began the assignment too late or didn't do enough research beforehand. Regardless of the circumstances, intentional plagiarism (like intentional fouls in sports) is treated very seriously. Types of intentional plagiarism include:
In each of these cases, even if you make substantial revisions, it's still considered plagiarism.
The most common plagiarism offenses are unintentional, so it's important to know what to avoid before you begin your research. Some of the most common mistakes include:
Avoiding these pitfalls is easy so long as you review the contents of this guide, give yourself enough time to complete an assignment, and be honest about which ideas are your own and which ideas come from others' works.
Learn More About Plagiarism
This useful graphic shows the most common forms of plagiarism, with the most severe at the top. Numbers 1 and 8 are intentional and flagrant plagiarism violations, but every other form could be committed either intentionally or unintentionally.
(image source: originally from plagiarism.org)
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