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All About Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the most common and most misunderstood form of violation.

Some examples include…

  • Using direct quotes without quotation marks
  • Misrepresenting the author’s ideas or main points
  • Using someone else’s ideas without citing them as such
  • Using another person to write, re-write, or edit your work
  • Using one piece of work from one course for another course without instructor permission
  • Failing to attach all group members’ names to an assignment
  • Misquoting of sources

Plagiarism

Using a direct quotation without quotation marks or a citation

  • Example: Historian Jane Doe argues that most Americans believed the war would end quickly.
  • In this example, the writer has not quoted or cited the historian’s words. Instead, consider this revision: Historian Jane Doe argues that, “most Americans believed the war would end quickly” (23).

Paraphrasing or changing an author’s words or style without citation

  • Example: President Lincoln reminded the nation that 87 years ago the founding fathers created a new country, rooted in the concept of freedom for all men.
  • In this example, the writer has changed President Lincoln’s words and they have not provided a citation. Instead, consider this revision: President Lincoln reminded the nation that 87 years ago the founding fathers created a new country, rooted in the concept of freedom for all men (Wikipedia). Or, you may simply provide the quote: President Lincoln reminded the nation that, “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” (Wikipedia).

Insufficiently acknowledging sources or providing a partial citation

  • Example: An historian argues that, most Americans believed the war would end quickly.
  • In this example, the writer has failed to provide the author’s name or where the quote is located. Instead, consider this revision: Historian Jane Doe argues that, “most Americans believed the war would end quickly” (23).
  • This type of plagiarism also includes failure to list all references on a references or works cited page.

Using the pattern, structure or organization of an author’s argument or ideas without proper citation

  • Example: (coming soon).

Failing to cite sources for information considered non-common

  • Example: Napoleon died when he was 51 years old.
  • In this example, the writer has failed to provide a citation for Napoleon’s age at death, a fact that may not be common knowledge. Instead, consider this revision: Napoleon died when he was 51 years old (Wikipedia).

Determining what constitutes common knowledge may be difficult. For example, most Americans know that Chicago is the third largest city in the U.S., therefore, a citation is not necessary. If you are unsure what constitutes common knowledge, be safe and cite the source.

Using an essay from course for another without instructor permission

  • Example: If you are re-taking a course and you use the final essay from the first course for the second without permission from your instructor, you are plagiarizing. If you submit the same essay to two separate professors (either in the same semester or at a later semester) without both professors’ approval, you are plagiarizing.

Failing to attach all group members’ names to a group project

  • Example: If you are working on any group project or assignment and you leave even one group member’s name off the project or assignment when you hand it in to your instructor, you are plagiarizing.

Using someone else to heavily edit or re-write your essay

  • Example: If you purchase an essay from the internet, a writer (including a TA or GA), or another student, you are plagiarizing.
  • If you pay your roommate, friend, brother, sister, mom, TA/GA, or anyone else to write your paper, you are plagiarizing.
  • If you ask someone to edit your essay or re-write you essay in a manner that drastically alters the essay, you are plagiarizing.

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