Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgment of the source.
When you work on a research paper you will probably find supporting material for your paper from works by others. It's okay to quote people and use their ideas, but you do need to correctly credit them. Even when you summarize or paraphrase information found in books, articles, or Web pages, you must acknowledge the original author.
These are all examples of plagiarism:
- Buying or using a term paper written by someone else.
- Cutting and pasting passages from the Web, a book, or an article and insert them into your paper without citing them. Warning! It is now easy to search and find passages that have been copied from the Web.
- Using the words or ideas of another person without citing them.
- Paraphrasing that person's words without citing them.
Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism:
- First, use your own ideas—it should be your paper and your ideas should be the focus.
- Use the ideas of others sparingly—only to support or reinforce your own argument.
- When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use.
- Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.
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