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Citation Help and Plagiarism Awareness: Defining Plagiarism

Citation Help and Plagiarism Awareness

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.


Recommended Websites

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

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