Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism and Best Practices for Research and Drafting

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s words, ideas, or data as your own work. By placing your name on a scholarly product, you are certifying the originality of all work you have not otherwise identified with appropriate acknowledgments. When you submit work that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, you must acknowledge the source of that information through complete, accurate, and specific references.

Plagiarism includes representing as your own any academic exercise (e.g., written paper, online forum assignment or submission, computer program, sculpture, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another.  For example, if you include direct quotations from a source, whether pieces of sentences or entire passages, you must use quotation marks or other accepted citation practices. You must acknowledge your sources whenever you:

  1. quote another person’s actual words;
  2. use another person’s ideas, opinions, theories, sentence structures, or flow of ideas, even if they are completely paraphrased in your own words; or
  3. borrow facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials, unless the information is common knowledge.

These guidelines should be followed for all source types, including books, newspapers, pamphlets, journal articles, websites, and other online resources.

More information on plagiarism and best practices for research and drafting at the Purdue OWL

Avoid these 10 Common Types of Plagiarism

Information on 10 Common Types of Plagiarism from Plagiarism.org