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Plagiarism Basics

A brief overview of how plagiarism is defined, and a list of resources to help you learn how to avoid it in your work.

Bronwen Densmore

on 15 October 2012

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Transcript of Plagiarism Basics

Plagiarism Basics Image © Balakov @http://www.flickr.com/photos/balakov/ From the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity:

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. See pg 77-78 of the Student Handbook: http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/files/students/handbook.pdf From the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity:

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. See pg 77-78 of the Student Handbook: http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/files/students/handbook.pdf Summarizing the work or ideas of another person without giving them proper credit (even if you’ve put it into your own words).

Failing to list collaborators or indicate areas where you’ve received significant input on your work. Less obvious examples of
plagiarism include: Some Examples: If you are analyzing a work of literature, you would list the title, author, and information about where this work was published on your works cited page. If you quote or paraphrase that work, you would make a note of it letting your reader know where to find that specific passage

If you are reporting on a news event (that you did not observe firsthand), you would list any newspapers, websites, or broadcasts that you consulted for information.

If you are writing a paper where you discuss the lyrics of a song, you would let your readers know where you found those lyrics by citing a recording, a transcript of the song, a music video, a performance, etc.

If you are relying on information that comes directly from another person, you would list that person as one of your sources.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER that SOURCES are anything that you draw on for information. So you should include information about things like books and articles, but also websites, images, video, etc, even if you are not quoting them directly. Q: Can I avoid plagiarism by only turning in work that is 100% original?

A: Not likely. When you are working on a creative piece or a personal response, you might be able to rely entirely on your own ideas and experience. However, most of the writing that you do in college will have a research element to it. This means that you will be learning from existing information and incorporating those ideas into your discussion, which involves different skills.

Not only does citing your sources help you avoid plagiarism, but using good information (and citing it) adds credibility to your writing. You’re not alone! Even very experienced writers and researchers refer to guides to help properly manage their sources. There are lots of tools and information on the library website to help you with this. If you still have questions, consult your professors or a member of the library faculty for advice.

Librarians can be found at the reference desk, or contacted by any of the methods listed here:

http://library.citytech.cuny.edu/services/ask/index.php Plagiarism Basics Image © Balakov @http://www.flickr.com/photos/balakov/ Obvious examples of plagiarism include:

Copying text directly from a source (even short phrases) and presenting it as your own.
Handing in work done in whole or part by another person. Q: What kinds of things can I use in my work?

A: Just about anything, as long as you cite it!

Q: What does it mean to cite a source?

A: Citing a source simply means that you are
letting your reader know what information
you’re using and where you got that information.

For information about how to properly cite your sources, consult our Subject Guide:
http://library.citytech.cuny.edu/research/subjectGuides/wiki/index.php/Style_Guides_and_Research_Paper_Support Learning to cite sources properly takes time.

When in doubt, it’s always better to include too much information about your source than too little. This can mean the difference between plagiarism (a serious offense) and a simple formatting problem (easily fixed). Don't Make Your Readers Play Detective! When you are working with outside sources, it's rarely just a mater of reporting the facts: your reader wants to know what your thoughts and conclusions are. By citing your sources, your reader can better understand the way you've arrived at your conclusion. Popular Detective, Aug 1935 via Wikimedia commons.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Popular_Detective_August_1935.jpg Completely original information (as with a creative piece or a personal memoir).

Things that are regarded as common knowledge, such as commonly understood historical facts. What Doesn't Need to be Cited? If you're not sure whether something qualifies as common knowledge or not, talk to your instructor or a librarian.
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