What is plagiarism exactly? In a nutshell, plagiarism is trying to pass off someone else's thoughts as your own. Plagiarism is forgetting or neglecting to cite your sources. Plagiarism is copy and paste from the internet. Plagiarism is buying a pre-written essay online, or handing in someone else's paper with your name on it.
Plagiarism is a big deal. Policies vary from department to department, college to college, university to university. Consequences usually involve failure of the paper, and most likely the class. Sometimes students can be kicked out of school for plagiarism.
Intentional plagiarism is when you knowingly try to pass off someone's work as your own. Unintentional plagiarism is when you do not cite a source correctly, or perhaps, when you paraphrase/summarize something in language that is too close to the original. Careful analysis of your sources and citations can stop you from accidentaly plagiarizing.
Here are some tips to avoid unintentional plagiarism:
written by Luke Rolfes
- A paraphrase or summary should be in your own words, not the author's words re-ordered.
- A paraphrase or summary should not contain more than two or three of the author's original words in a row.
- Keep track in your notes of what is a direct quote and what is a paraphrase.
- When writing your drafts, put text that it is summarized, paraphrased, or quoted in bold.
- The most important rule: When in doubt, cite it anyway.