Online Students - Library Resources and Services: Plagiarism

Word cloud of ideas related to plagiarism

pla·gia·rism

/ˈplājəˌrizəm/

the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.
synonyms: 
copying, infringement of copyright, piracy, theft, stealing

Plagiarism

In simple terms, plagiarism is passing off someone else's work as your own.  For example:

  • If you borrow or buy a paper from a friend and turn it in with your name on it, that's plagiarism.
  • If you copy from the Internet or any other source and turn it without citing the source, that's plagiarism.
  • If you use ideas from a book, magazine, or website and don't indicate or document the source, that's plagiarism.
  • If you directly copy from any source and don't put the words inside quotation marks, that's plagiarism.

Intentional Plagiarism

Sometimes students plagiarize intentionally.  They run out of time to complete an assignment or they're worried about their ability to complete an assignment successfully or they get lazy, and they copy information from a source. 

Obviously, intentional plagiarism is a serious academic offense, and students who commit this type of offense face serious academic consequences.

Unintentional Plagiarism

Sometimes students plagiarize unintentionally.  They don't have a great deal of practice at paraphrasing and documenting correctly, and they make errors.

When unintentional plagiarism occurs, it can represent a learning opportunity for students -- a time to seek help from the instructor and additional information about documentation styles and how to use them appropriately.

Please note, though, that even unintentional plagiarism can result in serious academic consequences - depending on the specific context within which the plagiarism occurs.

Plagiarism Video from 7 Steps: An IvyTILT Research Strategy

Prevent Plagiarism

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