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Understanding plagiarism  

Visit this guide for information and links to sites that will help you to understand and avoid plagiarism in your research.
Last Updated: Aug 16, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using someone else's exact words; images or graphics; or specific and original ideas; but presenting them as your own.

When you create a paper, a project, or a presentation for a class, you will often be required to include supporting information from a variety of external sources.  However, you must indicate where you got this information, not just copy and paste it into a document and call it your own.  That would be plagiarizing!

Plagiarism is:  Copying substantial phrases, sentences, or paragraphs from another source and not crediting the original author/creator.

Plagiarism is:  Paraphrasing or rearranging all or part of an original work without crediting the original author.

Plagiarism is:  Buying a research paper from the web, or taking one from a friend, and passing it on as your own work.

Plagiarism is NOT:  Using a variety of external sources, with proper credit, to support and expand upon your own unique ideas.

Plagiarism is NOT:  Using a variety of external sources, with proper credit, to write a paper that is fact-based, like a history paper about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

Visit some of the sites listed in the right-hand column for in-depth information about plagiarism, along with quizzes and tutorials to help you understand what is plagiarism and how to avoid it.   



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