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MKTG 489: Marketing Management and Strategy: Plagiarism & Citations

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Western Washington University defines plagiarism as "...presenting as one's own, in whole or in part, the argument, language, creations, conclusions, or scientific data of another without explicit acknowledgement."* Simply put, it means presenting someone else's work as your own.

Examples of plagiarism:

  • Using another person's written or spoken words without complete and proper citation;
  • Using information from a World Wide Web Site, CD-ROM, or other electronic source without complete and proper citation;
  • Using statistics, graphs, charts, and facts without acknowledging the source;
  • Paraphrasing by imitating someone else's argument using other words without acknowledging the source;
  • Using work produced in connection with one course to fulfill a requirement in another course without permission*


For more information:

Information and resources related to Academic Honesty:

*A full descriptiption of plagiarism and WWU's Academic Honesty policy can be found in the most recent course catalog.

Citation Tips

Tips for Using Quotations

  • Use direct quotation when the original version makes the point more clearly, succinctly, or aesthetically than you could.
  • Whenever possible, integrate quotations into your own sentences by:
    • Using a phrase such as “according to Brad Jones”, or “as Garcia observes” to introduce the quote
    • Attaching the quoted material to some of your own language
  • When you incorporate quotations into your own sentences, be sure the quotation uses the grammar of the original sentence.
  • If you use ellipsis points (...) to omit words or shorten quotations, make sure you do not distort the intention or meaning of the original.

Definition of Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is a close restatement of another person's argument using your own sentences. When you paraphrase, you must still acknowledge your sources. One way to paraphrase is to write your text without looking at the original, and then compare the two. Note that a paraphrase differs from a summary in that it could actually be longer than the original.

Three Ways to Acknowledge Sources

  • Direct Citation: Colors play an important role in our impressions. As Colson Whitehead observes, “Aspirants to luxury often opt for red and gold hues long soaked into their mentalities as the spectra of royalty” (1999, 145). *
  • Paraphrase: Colors play an important role in our impressions. For example, Colson Whitehead points out that red and gold are associated with royalty and luxury. *
  • Reference: Many writers, including Colson Whitehead, have noted that colors play an important role in our impressions. *

* Whitehead, Colson. The Institutionalist. New York: Anchor Books, 1999.

Common Knowledge

Some items are considered common knowledge. How do you know if something is common knowledge? Historical dates and established scientific principles are common knowledge. You do not need to cite facts or ideas that are common knowledge in the field you are studying, as long as you express them in your own sentences. A rough rule of thumb: if you find something in three or more sources, it is probably common knowledge. But when in doubt, cite!

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Students are more likely to plagiarize, when:

  • They don't understand the material well enough to be able to use it.
  • They rely too heavily on the ideas of others or presume their ideas are preferable to your own.
  • They do not know the correct methods of citation and attribution.


Taken from: "Avoiding Plagiarism," Academic Coordinating Committee, Western Washington University, Approved by Faculty Senate 4.08.02