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Plagiarism Resources: What is Plagiarism?

Study resources to help you avoid plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of intellectual theft and fraud, and can either be deliberate or accidental. It involves using someone else's words or ideas without providing credit, and presenting them as your own.  It can also involve reusing your own work from a previous course and claiming it is new work.  

Plagiarism can be:

  • accidental - this happens when you don't know when or how to cite, paraphrase, or quote.  The Moodle lesson and library website's citation LibGuides can help you learn to cite correctly.
  • blatant - this happens when you purposefully use another person's words and try to present them as your own.
  • self - this happens when you reuse a paper you wrote for a different course. You must submit original, new work for each course.

Examples of Plagiarism

Plagiarism can include:

  • Copying from a source without enclosing the text in quotation marks and providing a citation.
  • Summarizing or rewording someone else's ideas without providing a citation.
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing incorrectly.  This can include paraphrases or summaries that just rearrange the source's words or remain too similar to the original source's wording or structure.
  • Reusing an assignment you submitted for a previous course. (Self plagiarism)
  • Submitting an assignment completed by someone else.
  • Collaborating with a classmate or friend on an assignment meant to be completed individually.

*Submitting a paper that is almost all quotes and close paraphrasing can be plagiarism, even if cited correctly. Your work must include your own original expression and interpretation of the ideas.