1. Using your own work submitted for another class without the instructor's approval. How many times can you use that high school paper? You can't unless you substantially add to the research and the writing. Time to talk to your instructor about it. Maybe there's a way you can use the same topic, but build a more mature understanding of its complexities.
2. Using the exact words from a published source without quotation marks or attribution (citing) is plagiarism. Exact words are very personal and belong to the person who said them. Putting quotation marks and citing the source of those words shows your audience that you recognize an excellent statement of the issue. That's good!
3. Not giving an author credit for ideas, the organization of those ideas, graphic representations, or the specific use of words and phrases is plagiarism. Sorry, you can't drop a few words, do some rearranging, grab a graph and claim that quip as your own. What you can do is quote the sharpest phrases and explain what the author meant in your own wordsand give her credit for the ideas. You'll get lots of points for finding such an intelligent, interesting source of information and incorporating it well!
4. What about all that copyright-free stuff on the web? Sorry, you can't even take words from the web. Copyright is not the issue. Copyright is about money. Plagiarism is stealing IDEAS. If it's someone else's original idea and their own words, you can't take it without giving that person credit even if they just put it on their own sorry little webpage, in an email, or in a newsgroup message. (Actually, I just found out that there is a copyright issue involved. The holder of a copyrighted piece that you plagiarize can take you to court for copyright violation.)
5. You can't even summarize someone's work without telling us whose idea you're distilling.
6. Submitting someone else's work as one's own is the biggest academic sin! So, it's the night before the paper is due and you are desperate. Don't even think about taking a paper off the web or using one from the fraternity file. It is the coward's way out. Steroid use for the mind. Punishable by academic ignominy.
7. Assisting some else to do any of the above may make you feel good and powerful, but it doesn't help them at all and the punishment is just as bad.
8. Also unacceptable/reverse plagiarism--Adding a citation to work cited that wasn't used in the document. Remember 9th grade where you added five books you never read to your paper bibliography so your teacher would think you actually did some research? Can't get away with that anymore either!
What can you do?
your own ideas on those of others and tell everyone whose shoulders you stood
on to reach above them.
Three Sample Plagiarized Paragraphs and Two Correct Revisions -a link to a Virgina Tech site that is very clear.
Excellent description, action plan and exercise for students to test their understanding from OWL, the Online Writing Lab at Purdue
Examples from Academic Integrity at Princeton
More examples from Brandeis
University Library Homepage
last updated 4/23/09 js