Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism occurs when you use another person’s verbal or written words or text in your own work without appropriately documenting the source of the borrowed words or text. The borrowed text could come from a variety of places, such as a book, a newspaper, a magazine, a website, or even another student’s paper.

Plagiarism Defined:

No matter where the text comes from, it must be documented accurately. Accurate documentation means that you must follow the MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) rules for documentation.


 

How can I avoid Plagiarism?

Avoiding Plagiarism: Practical Strategies
Duke University Libraries, Emily Werrell

Plagiarism can often unintentionally result from careless research and note-taking.  This site provides advice on how to plan and organize your research project so that you can avoid careless errors in documentation.

How not to Plagiarize
University of Toronto, Dr. Margaret Procter

Here’s an easy to read FAQ that addresses many of the questions students have about the ways that plagiarism can actually occur.

Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It
Indiana University

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing help clarify how to use information from another text without getting into trouble.

Avoiding Plagiarism
Maricopa Community College

This site outlines and provides examples of common ways plagiarism can happen.  Included is a self-test on using other texts without plagiarizing.

Avoiding Plagiarism: Mastering the Art of Scholarship
University of Southern California

These guidelines provide tips and clarify often confusing issues, like the concept of “common knowledge” – includes examples.


 What happens to students who Plagiarize?

Actions Taken in Cases of Academic Dishonesty
Syracuse University provides an online diagram outlining legal actions taken in response to cases of plagiarism.  Site includes a statement from a student suspended for plagiarizing.

RIC Student Expelled for Plagiarism
Douglas Fresh

Expulsion of Copycat Student Upheld by Court
Independent News and Media
Ingred Oellermann


 

Quoting and Paraphrasing

Here’s a brief explanation of the difference between quoting and paraphrasing:

  • When you QUOTE, you are borrowing from another text by copying information from that text word for word (verbatim) and placing this copied information within your own text.
  • When you PARAPHRASE, you copy an idea from another text, but you put that idea into your own words.

In every case, both quoted and paraphrased material must be accurately documented
according to MLA or APA protocols.

Need more information?

Try the following resources:

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
Purdue OWL
Learn to distinguish the difference between the quote and the paraphrase.  The site includes a sample essay and a link to a documentation guidelines page.

Practice Quoting and Paraphrasing at the City University of New York WriteSite online writing lab.  After you do the quote workshop, go to the paraphrase workshop.                     


Useful Links

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Center
This site addresses the stylistic as well as mechanical issues that arise when quoting and/or paraphrasing.   The site is concise but includes all the fundamentals with examples.

Southeast Missouri State Writing Center
The many examples in this site illustrate a variety of citation situations, even those sometimes not addressed in other online handbooks, like block citation and the citing of an unsigned text.  A discussion of APA style is included.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
Purdue OWL
Learn to distinguish the difference between the quote and the paraphrase.  The site includes a sample essay and a link to a documentation guidelines page.

City University of New York’s WriteSite has an interactive workshop that helps students discover what it means to quote and offers practice with the mechanics of quoting.  After you do the quote workshop, go to the paraphrase workshop.  Fun!