Plagiarism is “like lip-synching to someone else's voice and accepting the applause and rewards for yourself.” 1
Researchers in universities- -students and teachers, especially- -can only do their work in the atmosphere in which ideas are freely exchanged and the evaluation of intellectual effort is not clouded by suspicions about where it came from. Just as students have some claim to the right to be told the truth in the classroom by teachers who know what they are talking about, teachers have a right to assume that work submitted under a student's name is indeed the product of the student's honest effort.
All original insight in a scholarly community occurs in the context of the creative work of other people. As Sir Isaac Newton observed when he wrote to Robert Hooke, “If I have seen further [sic]... it is standing on the shoulders of Giants.” 2
A paper with a comprehensive bibliography shows that the writer is conversant with the intellectual context in which he or she is operating.
1 Purdue University 1995-2000. OWL: Online Writing Available [Online]: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/workshops/hypertext/ResearchW/plag.html. [1 March 2001]
2 Newton, Sir Isaac. “Letter to Robert Hooke, 5 February 1675/76.” In Familiar Quotations, 16th ed. Ed. John Bartlett. Boston: Little, Brown, 1992, 281.
Plagiarism is presenting as one's own in whole or in part the argument, language, creations, conclusions, or scientific data of another without explicit acknowledgement.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
[from the WWU Academic Honesty Policy and Procedure]
MORE ABOUT PLAGIARISM
Plagiarism is using others' ideas and words without clearly and properly acknowledging the source.
When you work on a research paper you will probably find supporting material for your paper from works by others. When you quote people -- or even when you paraphrase or summarize information found in books, articles, or Web pages -- you must acknowledge the original author. It's okay to use the ideas of other people, but you do need to correctly credit them.
If you don't credit the author, you are committing a type of theft called plagiarism.
It is considered plagiarism when you
Keep in mind that it is now easy to search and find passages that have been copied from the Web, and professors use plagiarism software to check your sources.
You are more likely to risk plagiarizing when you
To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use
When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use.
Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.
FOR MORE HELP, try the WWU Writing Center website or contact them by email at email@example.com.
Plagiarism is a Serious Offense!
Penalties range from loss of time by having to redo an assignment to failing a course.
Building on the knowledge and ideas of others is an important aspect of academic research.
When you research a topic you may find information from articles, books, or the Web to support (or disprove) your ideas. When you write a research paper, you gather facts, data, words and ideas from other sources, including experts and scholars.You may want to quote a specific sentence from an article you read or you might want to summarize or paraphrase an idea or concept that you found in a book.
All of these practices are perfectly acceptable, as long as you credit, or cite, your source.
To cite means that you state where you found the information so that others can find the exact item again. In this way we build upon the ideas and knowledge of other people.
Here are examples of three ways to use source material:
Quotation: 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. *
Be sure to use the appropriate citation to acknowledge the source, as in this example:
* Whitehead, Colson. The Intuitionist. New York: Anchor Books, 1999.
HANDBOOKS & STYLE MANUALS
Proper citation of quotations, paraphrasing and references is an acknowledgement that a student has learned from others. This is an important aspect of academic and scholarly research.
Specific conventions for citing and documenting sources vary among the academic disciplines (APA, MLA, CBE, Chicago, etc.). If your instructor has not specified what style of documentation to use, it is your responsibility to find out.
Because no one can remember all the specific rules of citation, it is a good idea to purchase one of the many handbooks or style manuals available. Check with your instructor or the Writing Center for suggestions. Western Libraries also provides copies to borrow.
Here is a link to a library guide with Quick Guides to the most commonly used citation styles. Included are links to examples of subject specific styles:
A quotation is a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker.
Here are some tips for using quoations in your writing:
When you quote another's words, you must always acknowledge, or cite, your sources.
Paraphrasing is a close restatement of another person's argument using your own sentences.
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.
When you paraphrase, you must still acknowledge your sources.
Most fields are grounded in a body of common knowledge shared by scholars in the field. Examples are historical dates and established scientific principles.
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.
When you can not be sure what is common knowledge and what is not, play it safe and cite your sources.
Ask Us! Research Service - Anything, Anytime, Anywhere!
Library help is available for all your information and research needs. Just click on the link below to contact us in any of the following ways: