Avoiding Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined as taking for your own use the words, ideas, concepts or data of someone else without giving proper credit.

Many people have heard of plagiarism before, but they may not know all that is included in the definition. This section explores the nuances of plagiarism so that you can best avoid it in your work. First, check your knowledge by answering 5 quick questions in the “Is it plagiarism?” section. Then read the generalized definition of plagiarism to see how your answers match up. 

Is it plagiarism? Take the quiz!

Generalizing the Definition of Plagiarism

In addition to taking for your own use the words, ideas, concepts or data of someone else without giving proper credit, plagiarism also includes: 

  • Accidentally taking others' ideas
  • Reusing an assignment you submitted in the past, unless you get permission
  • Not giving credit to the source of an idea, even if you rewrite it
  • Not giving credit to the source of the material, no matter where you find itl (e.g. the Internet, a journal, or a book)

Plagiarism can happen in papers, presentations, case studies, lab reports, projects, designs, and any other assignment or work you produce. Give credit to others' ideas, concepts, or data that you use, no matter the type of work you are creating.