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:
For more information:
Information and resources related to Academic Honesty: http://www.wwu.edu/integrity/
*A full descriptiption of plagiarism and WWU's Academic Honesty policy can be found in the most recent course catalog.
Tips for Using Quotations
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
* Whitehead, Colson. The Institutionalist. New York: Anchor Books, 1999.
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:
Taken from: "Avoiding Plagiarism," Academic Coordinating Committee, Western Washington University, http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/senate/ACC/accPlagiarism.htm. Approved by Faculty Senate 4.08.02