This is the "About Plagiarism" page of the "Avoid Plagiarism: Write it Right Workshop" guide.
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Avoid Plagiarism: Write it Right Workshop   Tags: citations, paraphrase, plagiarism, summarize  

Learn what plagiarism is - and is not - by recognizing examples and finding alternatives to copying word for word from research sources.
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

About Plagiarism Print Page

Why is it important to NOT plagiarize?

According to Weidenborner and Caruso, authors of Writing Research Papers: A Guide to the Process, plagiarism is a serious offense and is considered so by instructors/professors, as well as by readers and writers in general.

Generally speaking, when reading your essays or research papers, instructors want to know what information is coming from someone else, and what information is coming from your own original thoughts and judgments.  Having proper citations shows your instructor that you are trustworthy and have personal integrity (145).

Weidenborner, Stephen, and Domenick Caruso. Writing Research Papers: A Guide to the Process. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. Print.


How to know if YOU are plagiarizing

According to Rozakis in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Research Methods, you are plagiarizing if...

  • you use "someone else's words without giving adequate credit"
  • you use "someone else's ideas without acknowleding the source"
  • you "paraphrase someone else's argument as your own"
  • you "present an entire paper or a major part of it developed as another writer did"
  • you arrange "your ideas exactly as someone else did - even though you acknowledged the source (s) (218)"

Rozakis, Laurie, Ph.D. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Research Methods. New York: Alpha Books, 2004. Print.


What is Plagiarism?

Let's look at some basic definitions as provided by Lathrop and Foss in Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era:

"Cheat: the act or action of cheating or fraudulently deceiving; to practice fraud or trickery; to violate rules dishonestly. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. p. 381)

Plagiarize: to steal and pass off as one's own (the ideas or words of another); use (a created production) without crediting the source; to commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. p. 1728)"

And Lathrop and Foss' suggested definition,

"If you didn't think of it and write it all on your own, and you didn't cite (or write down) the sources where you found the ideas or the words, it's probably plagiarism" (116).

Lathrop, Ann, and Kathleen Foss. Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era: A Wake-Up Call. Englewood: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 2000. Print.


Rio Hondo College Definitions

According to Rio Hondo College's webpage on Academic Integrity, Cheating and Plagiarism are defined as the following:

"Cheating is defined as obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for work by the use of dishonest, deceptive, fraudulent, or unauthorized means. Helping someone commit an act of academic dishonesty is also considered cheating. The following are only some of the many forms cheating may take:

A. Communicating with fellow students during an exam; copying another’s work on an exam or allowing another student to copy during an exam; possessing or using unauthorized materials during an exam; taking an exam for another student, or any behavior the defeats the intent of an exam.

B. Copying another’s work on a paper, assignment, or project; providing coursework for another student to turn in as his or her own effort; unauthorized collaboration on a project, homework, or other assignment where the instructor expressly forbids such collaboration.

C. Fabricating, falsifying or misrepresenting data or results from experiments, interviews or surveys.

D. Submitting the same work in more than one class for credit without permission from the instructor.

E. Knowingly furnishing false information to the college including dishonesty, forgery, altering of campus documents or records, tampering with grading procedures, fabricating lab assignments, or altering medical excuses

Plagiarism is defined as representing the words, ideas, or work of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. Plagiarism consists of taking the work of another and offering it as one’s own without giving credit to that source, whether that material is paraphrased or copied verbatim or near verbatim form. Plagiarism is applicable to written, oral, and artistic work.

The following examples are only some of the many forms plagiarism may take:

A. Word-for-word copying of work written by someone else

B. Failure to give proper credit for ideas, statements of facts, or conclusions derived by another, including undocumented Web source usage

C. Failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether a paragraph, sentence, or phrase

D. Close and extended paraphrasing of another work without acknowledging the source

E. Submitting a paper purchased or downloaded from a research or term paper service, including the internet

Other Specific Examples of Academic Dishonesty:

A. Giving homework, term paper or other academic work to another student to plagiarize

B. Having another person submit any work in the student’s name

C. Lying to an instructor or college official to improve a grade

D. Altering graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for re-grading

E. Stealing tests or being in possessing of an unauthorized test or related document

F. Gaining unlawful or unauthorized access to college or district computers or servers"

"Academic Integrity." Rio Hondo College Student Affairs. Rio Hondo College, 2015. Web. 4 November 2015.

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