Plagiarism: What It Is and How To Avoid It
The passage below is taken from page 20 of the Fisher College Handbook (pdf):
Plagiarism takes many forms. It includes but is not limited to:
- Downloading a free research paper
- Copying an article from the Web or a database
- Buying a paper from a commercial paper mill
- Quoting less than all the words copied
- Paraphrasing or summarizing without attribution
- Faking a citation
For more information on this topic, take a look at the book entitled The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism (2001) by Robert A. Harris. It is located in the Main Library and its call number is 808 H315.
What happens if I get caught?
There are penalties for plagiarizing at Fisher College. Students found guilty of plagiarism subject themselves to severe academic sanction including dismissal from the College. (Refer to page 20 of the Fisher College Handbook).
How can I avoid plagiarism?
- Make sure that you give credit whenever you are using or referring to somebody else’s words or ideas from a magazine, book, newspaper, song, Web page, or any other medium. Citing a source reveals that you have done research and are able to synthesize findings into your argument.
- Use a citation manual (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.) as a guide. Copies of citation manuals are available in the Reference Library. Refer to Assembling a List of Works Cited in Your Paper and Citing Sources Within Your Paper on the Fisher College Library's website. Fisher College Library also owns several books that will assist you in understanding the proper use of quotations and citations and how to acknowledge and credit ideas borrowed from others.
- Ask your professor to clarify what constitutes plagiarism.
- Take good notes. Develop a technique for taking notes and stick to it. Always keep a record of what you find and where you find it.
- Don't wait until the last minute to research and write your papers. Procrastination may lead to plagiarism.
- When in doubt, cite! It's better to be safe than not give credit when you should.
Web Sites that will help you understand and avoid plagiarism:
- Indiana University on Plagiarism: What it is and how to Avoid it
Offers general information and advice for avoiding plagiarism with examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing.
- Northwestern University on Avoiding Plagiarism
Includes links to plagiarism information including definitions, tips for avoiding it, and examples of acceptable paraphrasing.
- Plagiarism, by Sharon Stoerger Rated by Choice Magazine as: Highly recommended
- Purdue University on Avoiding Plagiarism
Provides information on plagiarism prevention including an "Exercises for Practice" section.