Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citation Help and Plagiarism Awareness: Defining Plagiarism

Citation Help and Plagiarism Awareness

Highlighted Resources

Recommended Websites

The following sites will help you learn the skills necessary to avoid plagiarism:

Me? Plagiarize?

"Me? Plagiarize?" from the Hartness Library, Vermont Tech/Community College of Vermont, 6 July 2012. 

What is Plagiarism?

A Definition: Plagiarism is the act of presenting the words, ideas, images, sounds, or the creative expression of others as your own. 
 It's plagiarism whether you use:
  • a whole document
  • a paragraph
  • a single sentence
  • a distinctive phrase
  • a specialized term
  • specific data
  • a graphic element of any kind
You need to cite when you...
  • Use or refer to someone else’s words or ideas
  • Gain information through interviewing another person
  • Copy the exact words or a “unique phrase”
  • Reprint diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, videos, music
  • Use other people’s ideas (printed, or through conversations or email)

You don't need to cite when you...

  • Write about your own experiences, thoughts, and opinions
  • Use "common knowledge" that most people know, such as myths, folklore, common observations, or historical events, e.g,, George Washington was the first president of the United States.
  • Use generally accepted facts, e.g., exercise has positive health benefits.


Ask a Librarian

Use the chat box to get research help 24/7