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How to Recognize Plagiarism

Overview

In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when

  • You use another person's ideas, opinions, or theories.
  • You use facts, statistics, graphics, drawings, music, etc., or any other type of information that does not comprise common knowledge.
  • You use quotations from another person's spoken or written word.
  • You paraphrase another person's spoken or written word.

Recommendations

  • Begin the writing process by stating your ideas; then go back to the author's original work.
  • Use quotation marks and credit the source (author) when you copy exact wording.
  • Use your own words (paraphrase) instead of copying directly when possible.
  • Even when you paraphrase another author's writings, you must give credit to that author.
  • If the form of citation and reference are not correct, the attribution to the original author is likely to be incomplete. Therefore, improper use of style can result in plagiarism. Get a style manual and use it.
  • The figure below may help to guide your decisions.


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Credits

This tutorial site was developed by the Instructional Systems Technology Department in the School of Education at Indiana University Bloomington to offer students a chance to learn to recognize plagiarism. The Smith College Information Literacy Team is grateful for permission to use this tutorial as part of its program.

  • Content Design: Elizabeth Boling and Theodore Frick
  • Instructional Development and Formative Evaluation: Meltem Albayrak-Karahan, Joseph Defazio, Noriko Matsumura
   
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