Plagiarism is the act of presertning another's work or ideas as your own. The word "plagiarism" comes from the Latin plagiarus meaning kidnapper.
Is plagiarism a serious issue?
- Plagiarism is theft of intellectual property.
- Plagiarism is cheating.
- Plagiarism may result in receiving a failing grade or zero for the assignment.
Misconceptions regarding plagiarism
- It does not matter if the person whose work you have cited is alive or dead. If it is not your own idea, you must cite your source.
- If you translate or paraphrase something, you must still give a citation.
- If you use a picture from the Internet, you must cite the source.
Two types of plagiarism
- Copying a friend’s work
- Buying or borrowing papers
- Cutting and pasting blocks of text from electronic sources without documenting
- Media “borrowing” without documentation
- Web publishing without permissions of creators
- Careless paraphrasing
- Poor documentation
- Quoting excessively
What are the things you don't have to cite?
- Compiling the results of original research, from science experiments, etc.
- You are using common knowledge
What three strategies, alongside proper citing, can you use to prevent committing plagiarism?
1. Quotations are the exact words of an author, copied directly from a source, word for word.
Use quotations when:
- You want to add the power of an author’s words to support your argument
- You want to disagree with an author’s argument
- You want to highlight particularly eloquent or powerful phrases or passages
- You are comparing and contrasting specific points of view
- You want to note the important research that precedes your own
Quotations should be used sparingly. They must be exact, word-for-word as they appear in the original document. Quotes require a citation in addition to the use of quote marks. Every quoted word needs to be cited. Even a short phrase or single word must be quoted and cited.
2. Paraphrasing means rephrasing the words of an author, putting his/her thoughts in your own words. When you paraphrase, you rework the source’s ideas, words, phrases, and sentence structures with your own. Like quotations, paraphrased material must be followed with in-text documentation and cited on your Works-Cited page.
- You plan to use information on your note cards and wish to avoid plagiarizing
- You want to avoid overusing quotations
- You want to use your own voice to present information
3. Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) of one or several writers into your own words, including only the main point(s). Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material. Again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to their original sources.
- You want to establish background or offer an overview of a topic
- You want to describe knowledge (from several sources) about a topic
- You want to determine the main ideas of a single source
Brannon, Joyce. “Plagiarism.” PowerPoint Presentation. University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL. http://libraryuwa.edu/Help/Plagiarism.ppt (1/30/06)
Valenza, Joyce. “What is Plagiarism?” Springfield Township High School. Springfield, IL. http://mciu.org/~spjvweb/plagiarism.ppt (1/30/06).