What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the act of taking another person’s writing, conversation, song, or even idea and passing it off as your own.
Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism
To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use:
- another person’s idea, opinion, or theory;
- any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings–any pieces of information–that are not common knowledge;
- quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or
- paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words
When you write a research paper, you have to explain where you got your information. Some of the ideas you use will be your own, but many will have come from information you have read and people you have interviewed about the topic. To explain where the information comes from, you have to give (cite) the source correctly.
Why cite your sources?
- To give your writing credibility. You show that you have gathered ideas from worthwhile sources.
- To help the reader. You enable the reader to go and check and read those sources if he/she so wishes.
- To protect yourself from plagiarism. When you cite all your sources, no one can say that you stole or copied ideas from someone else.
— For more information on plagiarism, kindly contact the Reference Librarian.