What is Plagiarism?
- Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as your own.
- It is basically a form of theft, and it can get you in pretty deep water, both academically and professionally.
- It doesn't matter if it was an accident - it is the same as if you did it on purpose.
- Of course, Northeast State students would NEVER plagiarize on purpose! However, it may be done on accident. This module should help you learn to identify issues in your own work and avoid any form of plagiarism.
Examples of Plagiarism
- Copying and pasting something from the Internet or another source without quotation marks and/or citation
- Turning in something someone else wrote as your own, whether it was purchased or a friend's work
- Turning in something you wrote for another class without permission from your instructor
- Paraphrasing or summarizing a source without citation
- Accidentally using words directly from a source thinking you are paraphrasing
- Presenting facts, other than those that are common knowledge, without giving credit to the source
Why is it a Big Deal?
In school, the penalties for plagiarism can range from an F on the assignment to an F in the course, or even expulsion from school. If your plagiarism ends up on your academic record, it will follow you for the rest of your life. Other schools may not admit you, and employers will think twice about someone whose academic honesty is so tarnished.
In life outside of school, plagiarism is still a big deal. Do a Google News search on Plagiarism to see. Authors, politicians, and others get caught regularly. An accusation of plagiarism, especially when proven true, can be a career and reputation destroyer. Plagiarism leads others to doubt a person's honesty, ethics, and overall character.
- Cite your sources! Anything you have borrowed from someone else should be clearly indicated within the body of your paper, and the source should be properly formatted on your Works Cited page.
- When you take notes while reading sources, include the source information with the notes. That way, you won't have to go back and look for it when you do your writing.
- When in doubt, ask for help. Your Librarians and your teacher are here to help you succeed. It is better to ask for help than try to backpedal if you make a mistake.
The following links will take you to some more tips on avoiding plagiarism: