4.7 Avoiding Plagiarism


Plagiarism is the action or practice of taking someone else’s work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one’s own; literacy theft  (Oxford English Dictionary)

There are two types of plagiarism:

  1. Intentional plagiarism – Intentional plagiarism occurs when one claims to be the author of work that they know was originally written completely or in part by someone else.
  2. Unintentional plagiarism – Unintentional plagiarism occurs when a writer fails to follow to properly cite their sources without an explicit intent to cheat.

Take the following quiz to understand what counts as plagiarism



Avoiding Plagiarism

To avoid plagiarism you must always give proper credit when you use an idea, image, quotation, or any other information created by someone else.

How to avoid plagiarism

  • Start your work early
    • Students often plagiarize when they do not have time to finish an assignment
  • Direct quotations
    • Quote no more words than necessary
    • Cite any authors you quote
  • Paraphrase
    • Restate the ideas in an existing work while retaining the original meaning and level of detail
    • Cite any authors you paraphrase
Comic: one cow says "moo," the second cow says "I just said that. Use your own words."
From https://www.virtuallibrary.info/paraphrasing.html

Paraphrasing is not just expressing ideas “in your own words,” a writer must express the original idea in the context of their own writing.

  • Paraphrasing is not just replacing words
    • It is still plagiarism to replace words in the original text with synonyms
  • A good paraphrase changes the wording and the sentence structure
  • Always cite your source
    • Paraphrasing without citing the original source is plagiarism



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Library Skills for 2nd Year Biological Sciences Copyright © 2020 by Lauren Stieglitz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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