What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the act of using another person's ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source. To plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought of something that you have, in fact, borrowed from someone else. The Web makes it more tempting to plagiarize ideas because copying and pasting is so simple. However, the Web makes it easier for teachers to check particularly eloquent writing by doing a Google search on your writing in quotes and locating sources that clearly match your wording.
It is illegal, unethical, and if discovered, will result in a loss of credit for the project and perhaps a failure for the course.
Plagiarism can take several forms:
- Copying any direct quotation from your source material without providing quotation marks or crediting your source
- Paraphrasing of a borrowed idea without introducing and documenting the source of the idea
- Copying another paper, either from someone else or your own paper from a previous assignment
You may avoid plagiarism by:
- Acknowledging borrowed material with an introduction and citing the source page number: "According to Smith," "Smith points out, 24," etc.
- Paraphrasing material by writing in your style and language and citing the source of the information
- Enclosing quotation marks around all material that is directly quoted and citing the source for the information