While we all know stealing is wrong, recognizing plagiarism is not always as easy. Plagiarism sometimes happens not as a result of conscious cheating, but because of a lack of understanding about what actually constitutes plagiarism.
This guide intends to:
Recognizing the various forms of plagiarism is an important step in preventing it. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense and pleading ignorance will not protect you!
To "plagiarize" means:
The writer turns in another's work, word-for-word, as his or her own.
The writer copies significant portions of text straight from a single source, without alteration.
The writer tries to disguise plagiarism by copying from several different sources, tweaking the sentences to make them fit together while retaining most of the original phrasing.
Although the writer has retained the essential content of the source, he or she has altered the paper's appearance slightly by changing key words and phrases.
The writer takes the time to paraphrase most of the paper from other sources and make it all fit together, instead of spending the same effort on original work.
The writer "borrows" generously from his or her previous work, violating policies concerning the expectation of originality adopted by most academic institutions.
The writer mentions an author's name for a source, but neglects to include specific information on the location of the material referenced. This often masks other forms of plagiarism by obscuring source locations.
The writer provides inaccurate or incomplete information regarding the sources, making it impossible to find them.
The writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has been copied word-for-word, or close to it. Although attributing the basic ideas to the source, the writer is falsely claiming original presentation and interpretation of the information.
The writer properly cites all sources, paraphrasing and using quotations appropriately. The catch? The paper contains almost no original work!
The writer properly quotes and cites sources in some places, but goes on to paraphrase other arguments from those sources without citation. This way, the writer tries to pass off the paraphrased material as his or her own analysis of the cited material.