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Research Help: Plagiarism

Olds College Academic Integrity Policy

Plagiarism Quiz

Plagiarism is using the work of others and pretending it is your own.  The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines plagiarizing as "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own" (emphasis mine).

It is plagiarism if you copy someone else's words without giving them credit.

It is plagiarism if you make only light cosmetic changes to someone else's words, such as using a synonym.

There are many different kinds of plagiarism, including these examples:

  • Handing in an assignment that was created by someone else. Whether you reuse a friend’s project from last semester, you pay for someone else to write your essay, or you submit a design project you found online, the project isn’t your work so it is plagiarized. 
  • Using material from somewhere else without citing it is also plagiarism. Some people find information on the internet and just copy and paste paragraphs into their assignment to pretend that they wrote it. You can’t use someone else’s work without giving credit to that person by citing your source. 
  •  Adding images, music, videos, ideas, or statistics you find into your project without giving credit is also plagiarism. If you add an image to your project, you have to include the citation for the image. You also can’t add a statistic in your project without citing where that information comes from. 
  • You can also get in trouble when you paraphrase. Paraphrasing is when you change the wording of the original source but keep the general idea. You must cite paraphrasing as well, or it is plagiarism.  
  • Sharing your work with another student is also considered plagiarism. This could mean letting them look at your project, sharing an old assignment, or letting them copy the equations for your math homework. If they use your work in their own assignment, they are claiming your ideas as their own. Actually, you will also have plagiarized because you gave them the material to cheat.  

Plagiarism also includes:

  • Using too much-cited material or ideas so that your work is not original (even if you cite properly
  • Submitting previous assignments or pieces of previous assignments again for a different assignment. 
  • Plagiarising “by accident” (It is a student's job to properly cite their work and to make sure that they adhere to all academic honesty guidelines).

Plagiarism's Impact on a Post-Academic Career Video