How to Recognize and Avoid Plagiarism


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How to Recognize and Avoid Plagiarism

Scholarly writing extends human knowledge in ways that may be abstract or practical. It also passes on learning from one generation to the next. Each scholar and researcher is responsible for presenting original work. That work is made credible by identifying things that influence their ideas and conclusions, which may be other research, comments, or artistic expressions. Creative writing adds dimensions to the human experience.


Students are intimately involved with other people's words and ideas: reading them in texts, discussing them in classes, hearing them in lectures, and using them into their own writing. As learners, students participate in scholarship and are thus required to follow the same standards as professionals.


Sharing both ideas and expressions of those ideas is fine, so long as readers and writers at every level follow long-established principles of integrity, originality, and verifiability. These qualities not only acknowledge individual contributions to human knowledge, they reinforce the credibility of scholarship. Plagiarism compromises both the fundamental nature of scholarship, and your learning and it can cost you big.


This tutorial walks you through a series of linked pages illustrating what plagiarism is, providing examples of different types of plagiarism, outlining ways a writer can avoid the problem of using too much of someone else's work. You can move back or through the links as you need. An eight-page printable version in PDF format is available as well.