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What is plagiarism?



The definition of plagiarism is to use another person’s work (words or ideas) without giving clear credit to the source of that information. Plagiarism can be either intentional and unintentional.  Intentional plagiarism is cheating.  This is when you copy the work of another and call it your own.  This includes copying from a book, journal, web page, another term paper, or any other source.  Things such as art, graphics, poetry, data, text, computer programs and code, web sites, music and other creative expressions are included as things that can not be copied without proper citing or permission. 

Plagiarism is stealing the work of another and then trying to deceive another into believing that work was done by him/her.

Unintentional plagiarism is also cheating.  This happens when a writer does not intend to plagiarize, but fails to cite the sources of the information that they use correctly. Even if it is unintentional plagiarism is still a violation. 

What are some examples of plagiarism?

How do you cite sources?

Your instructor will let you know which style or format to use for the course project you are working on.  Examples of the many different formats that you may be asked to use include, MLA, APA, CBE, and Chicago Manual.  If you are unsure of what format to use, ask your instructor.  Documentation consists of two parts: documentation within the text and documentation at the end of your paper. In your text, use parentheses to show your reader where you have used each piece of information from your sources.

There are a number of very good web pages that give examples of how and when to cite sources.  Including:

How can you avoid plagiarism?

What are the consequences of plagiarism?

Any or all of the below may be consequences if plagiarism is detected.