59 8. Plagiarism

Don’t Steal Other People’s Ideas

Plagiarism means you have presented other people’s facts, ideas or words as if they were your own, – whether you did so deliberately, carelessly or unconsciously.

To avoid plagiarism in your writing, you must:

· Give credit to all sources of information.

· Credit material whether the wording was copied (and thus must be surrounded by quotation marks) or put in your own words (paraphrase).


· Do not use a source’s words without placing quotation marks around those words. Although standard terminology in a field does not get quotation marks (digital thermometer, for example), you still must document the sources.

· Do not use someone else’s idea, date or statistic without telling specifically where you found it.

· Do not hand in a paper that you have written for another course without your teacher’s consent. Some teachers consider this to be another form of plagiarism. Of course, do not submit someone else’s paper or one downloaded from the Internet.


you are taking a risk If you hand in a paper that contains someone else’s word or ideas without giving credit to that person. If a teacher can prove that you have plagiarized, you might fail paper or the entire course or you might be permanently expelled from the college or university. These punishments have been upheld in court.

It is easy for a teacher to spot plagiarism in a student paper. Even in a large class where the teacher may not know each student’s style, the teacher will recognize the style of professional sources in a field and may even be extremely familiar with the sources you have used.

Visit the following sites for additional information on plagiarism:

  • https://courses.lumenlearning.com/styleguide/chapter/defining-plagiarism/
  • https://courses.lumenlearning.com/styleguide/chapter/avoiding-plagiarism/


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