What is Plagiarism?
When we talk about ethics and plagiarism, we’re really discussing academic integrity. C.S. Lewis has the best definition of integrity, “Doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Cheating is easy, integrity takes effort and self-discipline. Your college instructors never assume that it is your intent to plagiarize. Most plagiarism is inadvertent, when we don’t understand how to properly cite, paraphrase or rephrase, or quote our sources. This can easily be fixed with some time and practice.
Plagiarism is the act of borrowing someone's words, creative work, or ideas and passing them off as your own. Regardless of the format (book, photograph, article, webpage, song, email message) failing to properly cite your source material is plagiarism. We already know that in the context of a written essay, we cite our sources in two ways: 1) An in-text citation or parenthetical citation which immediately identifies the source of a quote or paraphrase, and 2) A bibliography, works cited or reference list which indicates all the sources you have used throughout your paper.
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Quoting Correctly Means:
Paraphrasing Correctly Means: