is a very serious offense. According to the Webster's New Collegiate
Dictionary , the definition of plagiarize
is "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's
own without crediting the source." Many assume that plagiarism is
simply copying a written passage word for word. However, plagiarism
may also include using others' ideas, thoughts, or conversation
in your own paper without citing them; paraphrasing or summarizing
other people's work without citing them; or copying images or text
from the Web. University faculty have access to tools that can easily
help them find and verify information that they may suspect as being
There are several different
types of plagiarism.
- The most obvious form of plagiarism is direct plagiarism
, or copying something word for word.
- Sometimes students plagiarize accidentally; this is commonly
known as accidental or unintentional
plagiarism . This happens when they don't intend to plagiarize,
but fail to cite sources correctly or copy too much of the source's
original wording while trying to paraphrase or summarize the passage.
Even when you summarize something in your own words, you must
still cite the original source!
- Another type of plagiarism is collusion , which
refers to collaboration with others when working on school assignments
or projects. Examples include allowing others to write or substantially
edit your papers, or using someone else's paper or allowing them
to use your own with permission.
- You are guilty of self-plagiarism if you re-use
your own paper, or even modify a paper you have already written,
in another course, without getting prior approval of both instructors.
Even if you have permission to use a previously written paper,
you still must cite your own previous paper to avoid plagiarism.
To avoid plagiarism
, try one of these three approaches to using outside sources:
- Quoting To quote a source correctly, copy
the passage word for word, place those words in quotation marks,
and cite the source you found the quote in. If you are quoting
lengthy passages (ie. a whole paragraph), use block indentation
and a citation.
- Paraphrasing To paraphrase, restate the information
from a source using your own words. A paraphrased passage will
be about the same length as the original passage. One way to paraphrase
a passage is to use an attributive tag, such as "According to
- Summarizing A summarized passage includes
only the main ideas of a source in your own words, leaving out
specific details. Summaries are typically shorter than paraphrased
passages, and still must be cited.
In general, if you have
any question about whether to cite or not cite, you probably should
cite the source.
Resources on Plagiarism
Plagiarism, by Sharon Williams
Provides strategies for using sources and avoiding plagiarism.
Plagiarism: Preventing, Detecting and Tracking Online Plagiarism
By Lisa Hichliffe. Briefly defines plagiarism, and provides
advice in preventing and detecting plagiarism.
This is "the online resource for educators concerned with
the growing problem of Internet plagiarism. This site is designed
to provide the latest information on online plagiarism..."
"The world's leading plagiarism prevention system."
What it is and How to Recognize and Avoid It
From the University of Indiana Writing Resources. Includes
strategies for avoiding plagiarism and examples of acceptable
and unacceptable paraphrasing.
Resource Site: Charlotteville, Virginia
University of Virginia, Center for Studying Plagiarism
" The goal of this web site is to help reduce the impact
of plagiarism on education and educational institutions. At present,
it distributes free software to detect plagiarism and provides
links to other resources. This site's sole author is Lou Bloomfield,
Professor of Physics, University of Virginia..."
- Harris, R. A. (2001). The plagiarism handbook:
Strategies for preventing, detecting, and dealing with plagiarism.
Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.
An excellent source for instructors. Includes sample materials
for educating students about plagiarism.
- Virtual Salt:
Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers
From Robert Harris, the author of The Plagiarism Handbook.
Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism: Practical Guidelines
From Duke University. Includes detailed information on citing
sources, and a section on the 'Nature and Consequences of Plagiarism'.
Plagiarism: Strategies to Deter Academic Misconduct
By Mary Hricko, Library Director at Kent State University.
& Fair Use
"Copyright is a form of protection given by law to authors
of intellectual works. Only authors or those to whom authors have
assigned their rights may claim copyright. The owner of a copyright
retains and controls a bundle of rights, including but not limited
to the following: to print and reprint copies of the work; to sell
or distribute copies of the work; to transform or revise the work;
and to perform or display the work to the public." (WSU Copyright
Policy). Under certain circumstances, (known as "Fair
use") copies may be made of copyrighted materials. "The
'fair use' of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction
in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that
section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship,
or research, is not an infringement of copyright." (Copyright
Law of the United States of America)
Resources on Copyright
Nowhere in the United States Constitution or the Bill of Rights
is individual privacy specifically mentioned or guaranteed. But
Americans have an expectation of a certain degree of privacy based
on legal interpretations over the years. The following web sites
are good starting places to learn more about the complex issue of
personal privacy in the electronic age.
Resources on Privacy
for Democracy and Technology's Guide to Online Privacy
" This guide is intended to educate Internet users about
online privacy, and offer practical suggestions and policy recommendations."
- Federal Trade Commission
A comprehensive site, offering information on identify theft,
online profiling, children's privacy, and other pertinent issues.
By Bruce Stewart. Includes various tips and tricks that
address various privacy issues, such as email privacy, SPAM, etc.
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
" The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a nonprofit consumer
education, research, and advocacy program. Our publications empower
you to take action to control your personal information by providing
practical tips on privacy protection." Includes a set
of FactSheets for ensuring your personal privacy.