What is Plagiarism?

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Published October 18, 2015. Updated September 5, 2019.


Overview of Plagiarism


Plagiarism – wondering what it is? It’s a big word with huge consequences.


When writing research papers, there are numerous rules that must be followed. These rules relate to grammar and formatting, but the majority of them relate to properly citing sources. When a writer fails to cite a source correctly, it can lead to plagiarism. Plagiarism is using someone else’s direct words or ideas and passing them off as your own.


Plagiarism is a serious offense. In many cases, it can lead to a failed grade, expulsion from school,  loss of a job, and severe embarrassment.


It can be challenging to avoid plagiarism, as students and writers are often told that they need use other’s ideas in their writing, but should write something that is original. To avoid plagiarism, there are numerous resources available to students and researchers.


Plagiarism 101 from Plagiarism.org

Is It Plagiarism Yet? from Purdue Owl

Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism from the Council of Writing Program Administrators


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