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McNair Scholars: Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism

 

  • “The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work”
  • From the Latin word: plagiarius (“kidnapper”)  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th ed.
  • Using or passing off someone else’s work as your own   AND not giving them credit
  • Paraphrasing others words and/or changing the word order without acknowledgement or citing properly

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Acknowledge or properly cite sources you use:
  • Someone’s own ideas, or theory
  • Facts or statistics
  • Graphs or drawings
  • Quotations of someone’s actual spoken or written words
  • Paraphrase of someone’s spoken or written words
  • Not “common knowledge” – not known by a lot of people or information that is not easily attainable
  • When you don’t have to cite:
  • Using “common knowledge” (known by the general public, i.e. George Washington was the first president of the U.S.)  or easily attainable (quick fact(s) found in an encyclopedia)
  • An original idea (your own idea or theory)
  •       When in doubt CITE!

Acknowledging Sources Tutorial

Wondering why you need to cite your sources?  Take the Acknowledging Sources tutorial.