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Plagiarism   Tags: citing articles, citing e-books, citing websites  

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined as "The action or practice of taking someone's  else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, (1) quoting from the published or unpublished work of another without appropriate attribution; (2) paraphrasing or summarizing in one’s own work any portion of the published or unpublished materials of another without attribution;and (3) borrowing from another’s work information which is not in the domain of common knowledge.

Complicity is the intentional giving of assistance or the attempt to give assistance to another for the purpose of perpetrating academic dishonesty.


Why the Big Deal?

According to surveys in U.S. News and World Report

  1. 80% of "high-achieving" high school students admit to cheating.
  2. 51% of high school students did not believe cheating was wrong.
  3. 95% of cheating high school students said that they had not been detected.
  4. 75% of college students admitted cheating, and 90% of college students didn't believe cheaters would be caught.
  5. Almost 85% of college students said cheating was necessary to get ahead.

In a sample of 1,800 students at nine state universities:

  1. 70% of the students admitted to cheating on exams
  2. 84% admitted to cheating on written assignments
  3. 52% had copied a few sentences from a website w/o citing the source

Kerkvliet, J., & Sigmund, C. L. (1999). Can we control cheating in the classroom? Journal of Economic Education, 30(4), 331-351.

Ashworth, P., Bannister, P., & Thorne, P. (1997). "Guilty in whose eyes? University students' perceptions of cheating and plagiarism in academic work and assessment." Studies in Higher Education, 22(2), 187-203. (EJ 549 250)

from the November 22, 1999 issue of U.S. News and World Report

from The Center for Academic Integrity (

McCabe, D. L., & Trevino, L. K. (1996). "What we know about cheating in college: Longitudinal trends and recent developments." Change, 28(1), 28-33. (EJ 520 088)

Above material from


Examples of Plagiarism

If you do not cite the source, whether it's just a few words or whole paragraphs--the following all constitute plagiarism:

  • Copying from a website, such as Wikipedia.

  • Copying from an article in a magazine, journal, or newspaper.

  • Copying from a book.

  • Copying someone else's work.

  • Any form of "copying & pasting" without citing.

  • Rewording (paraphrasing) a source, or someone else's work, without citing it.

  • Failing to place quotation marks around a direct quote.

  • Fabricating citations or providing incorrect references.

  • Buying an essay online and turning it in as your own.

  • Using a previously written essay from one class in another class.

  • Using a photo, image, or artwork without attributing the source.

Subject Guide

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Jahala Simuel

Guide to Plagiarism


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