What is the definition of plagiarism?

  • Plagiarism is to commit intellectual theft, to present an idea or product that comes from an existing source as one’s own original product.
  • Plagiarism is the act of stealing and passing off as one’s own the ideas or words of someone else. Plagiarism can also be to use another person’s work without crediting the source.

What does plagiarism look like?

  • Cheating, copying the work of other persons, or turning in another person’s papers, projects, assignments, etc., as your own.
  • Using another writer’s words or ideas without proper citation.
  • Rearranging or changing a few of the author’s/website’s words and presenting them as your own work and NOT using quotation marks and/or citing the source. This is the most common form of plagiarism we typically see.
  • Having someone else write your paper, program, or project, including asking friends, paying someone, using a paper writing service, or taking information word-for-word (verbatim) off the internet.

How do I avoid plagiarism? 

  • If you are unsure, ask your teacher for help.
  • Develop your own thoughts, ideas, interpretations, and conclusions.
  • Anytime you use someone else’s ideas, language, evidence, etc., CITE YOUR SOURCE. Use either a footnote or an in-text MLA-style citation and/or provide a Works Cited page.

Created by Nick Rose 9/2017

Useful links:

Write Check’s website advice on the topic

Georgetown University’s plagiarism page

Stanford University’s plagiarism page

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