Plagiarism According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own to use (another's production) without crediting the source to commit literary theft to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source. In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward. www.plagiarism.org
Plagiarism But can words and ideas really be stolen? According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and using others words and/or ideas without proper and complete acknowledgement of the original source is considered plagiarism. www.plagiarism.org
Plagiarism What are some of the most typical examples of plagiarism and how can you avoid them?
Plagiarism All of the following are considered plagiarism: turning in someone else's work as your own copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit failing to put a quotation in quotation marks giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit www.plagiarism.org
Plagiarism turning in someone else's work as your own Simply put, don’t do it! Sometimes it can be tempting when you’re up against a deadline to take the easy way out and turn in someone else’s work: a paper purchased from an online source, a paper “borrowed” from a friend or even a paper posted by another student on a website. Professors have a multitude of ways to detect plagiarism, including software like turnitin. Also, they are usually already familiar with your writing style and skill level. Assume you will get caught and avoid the serious consequences of this kind of academic fraud.
Plagiarism copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit You’re not going to turn in a paper written by someone else, but what about just a couple of sentences or a paragraph from an article; is that still plagiarism? The answer is YES. When using any words or ideas that are not your own you must give credit to the original source by using the proper form of citation.
Plagiarism failing to put a quotation in quotation marks This particular form of plagiarism is often the result of sloppy note taking or inattention to detail. Remember, when you are using someone else’s exact words, even if you cite the source correctly, to avoid plagiarism you must enclose those words in quotation marks. It’s helpful when taking notes to prominently identify material as a direct quotation. Careful attention to detail will help you avoid this type of plagiarism.
Plagiarism giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation This too is often the result of sloppy note taking. You’ve been diligent and marked the passage as a direct quote but forgotten to list the source. Don’t guess! The reason you are citing your sources is to give proper credit to the author of those words or ideas. Even when it’s a mistake, it is still plagiarism.
Plagiarism changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit When we use an author’s exact words we know we must use quotation marks and cite the source correctly. But what if we aren’t using their exact words? Incorporating an author’s ideas into your paper by summing them up in our own words is called paraphrasing and is perfectly acceptable, provided you correctly cite the original source. When using paraphrase there is no need to use quotation marks. However, many students run into problems when they assume that simply changing a few words or rearranging the order of phrases is acceptable paraphrase. Let’s take a look at the following examples.
Plagiarism Review these examples of acceptable and unacceptable use of paraphrase from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. These examples from Princeton University provide a good overview and explain how even extensive rewriting of the original source can still be considered plagiarism. Paraphrasing can be a valuable writing tool but requires skill and careful evaluation to avoid the pitfalls of plagiarism. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has some excellent tips and suggestions on how to paraphrase correctly.
Plagiarism Is there anything that I don’t have to cite in my research paper? Your own thoughts, words and ideas Historical facts and common knowledge Example: Abraham Lincoln was president during the Civil War. Example: Some snakes are poisonous.
Plagiarism Plagiarism is fraud. The consequences in the academic arena can range from a failing grade to suspension or expulsion. There are examples of students whose plagiarism was discovered years later and they were consequently stripped of their degree by the college or university. Outside of academia avoiding plagiarism is also extremely important. Reporters have been fired, authors have had their published works pulled from shelves, others have been sued and had to pay damages.
Plagiarism Suggestions to help you avoid becoming a plagiarist. Value your integrity; its your best tool to avoid plagiarism. Give yourself sufficient time to complete your assignments. There will be less temptation to take the easy way out. Stay organized. Research often results in a lot of paperwork that can become confusing. This can easily lead to mistakes with citations and sources. Take good notes that leave no doubt as to what information is a direct quotation or a paraphrase; and always make note of the source. When writing your paper add quotation marks and citations immediately as you work. Don’t rely on “coming back later” to fill in the correct information. It’s too easy to inadvertently miss something you meant to include.