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I need help avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism is when you present someone else's work or ideas as your own.

Plagiarism can be accidental or intentional cheating. Plagiarism is taken very seriously as a form of academic misconduct, and it is important to make sure that you acknowledge when information you are presenting comes from other people or authors. This is why citations are an essential part of your paper or presentation.

Plagiarism can be:

  • Copying someone's words without giving them credit
  • Quoting somebody's words incorrectly or out of context
  • Using or repeating someone's ideas or concepts without giving them credit
  • Misrepresenting someone's ideas or concepts
  • Copying images or music without permission or without proper attribution
  • Citing incorrectly - that is: citing the wrong source or having incomplete or inaccurate citations
  • Intentionally presenting someone else's work as your own - that is: copying off fellow students' works, submitting papers you did not write
  • Failing to acknowledge the contribution of others in work produced collaboratively

Below is a handy visual guide that will help you avoid plagiarism:

A General Guide to Understanding Written Plagiarism flowchart

Take a look at Quoting and Paraphrasing, and Integrating Sources into Your Paper for more guidance. You can also take the interactive Plagiarism tutorial.