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What is Plagiarism?

Everyone knows that directly copying another author's work is plagiarism, but there are also less obvious forms of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is copying an author's work and passing it off as your own.  This definition may seem simple, but plagiarism can be much more complicated.  Did you know that you could be held responsible for plagiarism if you paraphrase (i.e., to put in your own words) an author's work without providing a citation?  Even if you cite your source, if paraphrasing is not done correctly, you could still be plagiarizing.

Luckily, you can avoid plagiarism by citing your sources.  It is easy to do and shows how smart you are!

Consequences of Plagiarism

Plagiarism may not seem like a big deal, but there can be some severe and/or long lasting effects:

  • Failing grade (assignment and/or course)
  • Note on transcript for academic dishonesty
  • Loss of financial aid
  • Academic probation or expulsion
  • Limited career opportunities (can become a barrier to getting a job or can cause loss of employment)

Plagiarism Resources

Don't Plagiarize

The following websites may help you better understand and avoid plagiarism.  Remember that there are serious consequences for plagiarizing.