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Last Updated: Sep 25, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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What is Plagiarism?

What is Plagiarism?

From the Merriam-Webster's on-line Dictionary:  "The act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person."

Copying, Cutting & Pasting

You copy words or the whole passage from the original source without giving credit.


·       Cite the source of your info whether it's found in a print source, electronic form or on the Internet, unless it's considered common knowledge.

·       Use quotation marks around a phrase or sentence that you use from a print source, electronic source or a Web site.

·       The Internet has made it easier to copy/cut and paste, BUT the Internet has also made it easier to identify cases of plagiarism.

Fabricating Citations

You make up all or part of a citation.


·       If you falsify a citation, that is plagiarism.

·       If you falsify part of a citation, that is plagiarism.

·       If you cite a real source, but do not use it in your paper, that is also plagiarism.

Paraphrasing Incorrectly

You restate or summarize someone else's words but don't give them credit.

Paraphrasing correctly:

·       Is not rearranging words in a sentence.*

·       Is not substituting words with a thesaurus.*

·       Is synthesizing a passage of text and describing it (the idea) in your own words.*

·       Is restating or summarizing someone else's words or ideas and giving credit to the author (that fall outside of common knowledge).

Using media files, such as image, audio or video files without citing them

Images and other types of media files found on the Internet need to be cited just like words/text.  Even when they're available for free or easy to download, you still need to cite them. 


·       Anything you find on the Internet is available for anyone to copy and paste; therefore, you don't have to cite it.

·       Anything you find on the Internet is considered common knowledge; therefore, you don't have to cite it.

·       Images, charts, and graphs in books can be photocopied; therefore, you don't have to cite them.


   Source: The Most Common Types of Plagiarism (Library USC San Diego)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



Types of Plagiarism


Cheater, Cheater! A look at cheating and Plagiarism in a Digital World

Cheating in the digital age
Courtesy of:

Academic Honesty


Academic Honesty

  • Plagiarism
  • Copyright
  • Fair Use
  • Creative Commons

Fast Facts

More than a third (35%) of teens with cell phones admit to cheating at least once with them. 

Half (52%) of teens admitted to some form of cheating involving the Internet: Most notably, more than a third (38%) have copied text from Web sites and turned it in as their own work.  

Nearly half (48%) of teens with cell phones call or text friends to warn them about pop quizzes. 16% say this is cheating and a serious offense while 46% say it’s just helping out a friend. 

21% have downloaded a paper or report from the Internet to turn in.

38% have copied text from Web sites and turned it in as their own work.

32% have searched for teachers’ manuals or publishers’ solutions to problems in textbooks they are currently using.

More than 8 in 10 teens (83%) have cell phones, and over half (53%) have had them since they were 12 or younger.  

Teens’ rampant texting also doesn’t stop at the school gate. On average, teens with cell phones (n=846) send:  

  • 440 texts in an average week  
  • 110 texts in an average week during class  
  • Assuming a student has seven classes a day in a five day school week, this translates to sending more than three texts per class period.  

Source: Commonsense Media

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Noodletools logo

NoodleTools is the resource required for creating citations. You will also find it useful for Note Taking and creating an Outline for your research. 



Turnitin is a very useful resource to help you check citations and your work for originality.

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