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Avoiding Plagiarism

Not sure what constitute plagiarism and how to avoid it? This guide provides tips, examples and exercises.

What is plagiarism

According to Oxford English Dictionary, plagiarism is defined:

"The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft."

It is a necessary and common practice to use the ideas of others for academic research and study. New discoveries and ideas are usually built upon previous research findings, observations or ideas. This is how scholarship is produced and perpetuated. Nonetheless, when using others' idea in your work, you must 'give credit where credit is due’ and that is to send credit back to the authors or originators of those ideas. By not acknowledging the authors or originators of the ideas you are using, especially when writing papers or addressing a forum, you are committing plagiarism. 

Here are some examples of plagiarism:

  • Using or copying research data that was the result of a study done by others without citing the source.
  • Quoting words or ideas from online, electronic or printed resources such as articles or books without acknowledging the author(s).

  • Copying or purchasing a paper and handing it in as your own work.

  • Falsely creating a citation that doesn't exist.

  • Failing to credit and cite someone else's thoughts or ideas when paraphrasing.

  • Paraphrasing in a way that relies too heavily on another's language or syntax.

What is Plagiarism & How to Avoid It Video

Created by Bainbrige College.  It discusses what is plagiarism and how to avoid it.