What is Plagiarism?

In its simplest terms, plagiarism is committed when you present someone else's work as your own. Plagiarism can be avoided by giving appropriate credit to the authors of the ideas or words that you use in your assignments. To give credit, you cite the sources that you use

A student writing.

A citation is a note, either in footnotes, endnotes, or in the text of your work (depending on the formatting style you are using) that identifies:

  • whom you quoted or who created the ideas that you paraphrased
  • which book, article or other source you found the material in
  • where the material you used can be found in that source (year or page number or table/figure number).
Most students know that plagiarism means misusing another author's words, but other things can be plagiarized, too. It is also possible to plagiarize:

  • Someone else's idea, theory or opinion
  • Music drawings, designs, dance, photography and other artistic or technical work created by someone else
  • Reproductions of tables, graphs or any other graphic element produced by someone else
  • Facts and information that are not generally known
  • An unusual or distinctive phrase, a specialized term, a computer code, quantitative data
  • A paraphrase or summary of someone else's spoken or written words
  • Contributions of ideas by others with whom you have collaborated.
All of these must be cited.

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