What is plagiarism?
According to Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means:
- To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own;
- To use (another’s production) without crediting the source;
- To commit literary theft;
- To present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
How to avoid plagiarizing
- Take good notes
- Keep track of all the sources you use. You can do this manually or using a citation management toll like Refworks or Zotero.
- When you take notes, be clear about what you are paraphrasing and what you are copying word-for-word.
- Cite your sources correctly
- Refer to your sources using in-text citations and a bibliography in the citation style your professor requires. Visit our Citing Sources guide for more information.
- Use quotation marks appropriately
- Any time you copy a source word-for-word, use quotation marks and cite the source.
- Paraphrase correctly
- Changing one or two words in a sentence from another source is not enough to make it a paraphrase. Restate the concept using your own words. Even when paraphrasing, you still need to cite the original source.
- The consequences of plagiarizing are serious. Depending on the severity of the violation, a student may fail a class, be suspended, be expelled, or be stripped of their degree. For more information on the reporting procedure and disciplinary sanctions, visit UAA's Academic Integrity page.