What is Plagiarism?
Forms of Plagiarism
Detection of Plagiarism
While some plagiarism is intentional, most is accidental. The good news is that students can take simple precautions to make sure they are not accused of plagiarism.
How you can avoid plagiarizing
Most plagiarism is accidental, and students can do a great deal to assure
themselves they have not unintentionally plagiarized.
- Allow sufficient time for the research and writing processes. Start
the project immediately after the assignment is given. Much plagiarism is
the result of procrastination and desperation.
- Read sources carefully and thoroughly. It is difficult to rephrase
something in your own words if you donít really understand it. Reading a
source once is seldom sufficient. Several re-readings may be necessary.
- Take notes on three by five cards or in MS Word and write those notes
in your own words. This will allow you to put the actual source away and
work from facts and ideas already in your words rather than someone
elseís. It will also help you take control of that paperís organization,
avoiding plagiarizing someone elseís ordering of ideas as well as someone
- Be especially careful when paraphrasing. Frequently, student writerís
pick up too much of the sourceís wording and styleóand end up
plagiarizing. You may want to avoid paraphrasing altogether. A summary is
often sufficient to capture meaning. And paraphrasing may add little
to the readers' understanding.
- Know what needs to be cited and what does not.
Click here to see a list of what needs to be and doesn't need to be cited.
- Before you turn in a paper, compare what
you have written against your sources materials.
Be sure paraphrases are cited
If paraphrases are too close, change them to
quotations or rewrite them in your own words
- Be sure a sourcesí unique ideas are cited
When in doubt, cite your source material
- If your instructor subscribes to a plagiarism service, such as turnitin.com, ask to
submit your drafts to be sure you have detected all Web-based copying before
actually submitting your final paper.
You are the best defense against plagiarism. Give yourself ample time. Go over your paper and your sources sentence by sentence to be sure you have not copied word for word and to be sure you have given credit where credit is due. Most instructors have access to turnitin.com. Ask to have your paper submitted and an originality report generated before you submit your final. Then both you and your instructor can be sure your work is really yours. Click on
Detecting Plagiarism to learn how plagiarism is detected.
Created by: Marilyn Bauer and Jacie Moriyama for Leeward Community College
November 1, 2004