Peru State College
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Plagiarism: What Is It and How to Avoid It

What Is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is an act of fraud, the stealing of someone's work and lying about it.


It is claiming someone's work as your own, using someone's work without giving credit, and presenting ideas as original when derived from existing information.


Intellectual property or creations of the mind are protected by U.S. copyright laws.


Forms of plagiarism include but not limited to the following:

  • using someone else's work as your own (e.g. buying a paper online)
  • copying text from a source without giving credit
  • failing to cite direct quotes or borrowed language
  • not enclosing "borrowed language" in quotation marks
  • not using your own words to summarize or paraphrase
  • using so many quotes and ideas from a source that it is the majority of your work regardless if you give credit or not


How to Avoid It?

Cite your sources!


Providing citations tell readers and professors where the information came from and give credit to the individuals whose ideas, thoughts, experiences, and words appear in your work.


Provide a citation when you:

  • use a direct quote from a source
  • summarize or paraphrase a source
  • use facts and ideas that are not common knowledge
    Common knowledge is information that is stated in many different sources or is so well-known that it doesn't need to be cited (e.g. water is comprised of 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen).


When summarizing or paraphrasing, read the text and then without looking at it write what you just read in your own words.



If you have any questions, you can:


Additional Resources