What is Plagiarism?

"An adacemic malpractice. Plagiarism is the use of the ideas, words or findings of others without acknowledging them as such. To plagiarize is to give the impression that the student has written, thought or discovered something that he or she has in fact borrowed from someone else without acknowledging this in an appropriate manner".

There are different types of plagiarism:

  • Direct Plagiarism: When you copy another person’s work, word-for-word, without citing it. Also, submitting a paper that someone else wrote and passing it off as your own. You are essentially presenting that information in a way that says you came up with it, it is a deliberate attempt at plagiarism.
  • Accidental or Unintentional Plagiarism: This happens when a person misquotes, paraphrases or fails to cite their sources (Most Instructors will have no idea that you plagiarized unintentionally, it will be considered plagiarism).
  • Self- Plagiarism: (Yes, you can even plagiarize yourself). This is when you use paper/assignment that was used for a certain course and you decide to use that paper/assignment to supplement another course with a similar assignment. If you feel that you should be able to use a paper/assignment you wrote for one class, to use for a different class, you would need to contact your instructor for permission.

When should you give credit?

  • Using a direct quote or copying something word for word.
  • Paraphrase an article or some ones idea
  • Using a picture, graph, video, or any type of media.
  • Information that is not common knowledge

Common Knowledge: You do not need to cite common knowledge. Common knowledge is something that the readers should generally know, such as who is the current President of the United States is.

When in doubt, cite!

However, plagiarism is not always black and white and there are some gray areas. The Owl at Purdue has a great section on plagiarism.



  • Last Updated Jan 26, 2018
  • Views 63
  • Answered By Thobela Buyana

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