At its core, plagiarism is the unauthorized use of information from another person’s work without crediting that person correctly. Committing plagiarism in your paper, whether intentionally or accidentally, can lead to serious consequences for your grade and academic career. By backing up your ideas with credible sources, you can easily avoid the trap of plagiarism, and promote further research on your topic. To help people find your unique perspective and to create consistency throughout your work, it is always a good idea to use a specific, standardized citation style (for example, APA format and MLA style).
While it is seldom discussed, it is also possible to commit self-plagiarism. It is tempting to think that since you have written material on a topic before, that work can be repurposed at will without any citations. This is poor writing ethics, however, and should be prevented as much as possible. Copyright infringement is also a common outcome of self-plagiarism. When an author publishes something like a scholarly article, the copyright is often given to the research journal that the article was originally published in. Repurposing this work and publishing it somewhere else without referencing the original could violate the copyright agreement and cause legal issues.
Including accurate citations in your paper not only prevents you from committing plagiarism, but also makes you a better writer and researcher. Proper citations demonstrate a breadth of your reading and dedication to the project itself. By creating citations, you will be compelled to make connections between the sources you are using and to discern research patterns.
So, think you know how to identify plagiarism like a pro?
See if you can beat a citation expert by answering all of these questions correctly!
Decide if each of the following scenarios is an instance of plagiarism.