How to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work without giving that person credit or claiming her/his work as one’s own.

Forms of plagiarism include:

  • Directly copying someone’s paper such as a classmate, a paper purchased online, or a paper copied from the internet,
  • Quoting from another source without marking the material as a quotation, and
  • Paraphrasing from another source without marking the material as a paraphrase.

To avoid plagiarism, you must acknowledge the ideas and experiences of others in your text by providing citations. Citations serve two purposes:

  1. tells readers and instructors where the information came from and
  2. gives credit to the individuals whose ideas, thoughts, experiences, and words appear in the text (Hacker 109).

A citation is necessary:

  • when a direct quote is taken from a source,
  • when a source is summarized or paraphrased, and
  • when facts and ideas are taken from a source excluding common knowledge (Hacker, 109).

However, citations are not enough to protect you from plagiarizing. Plagiarism also occurs with inaccurate quotations, summaries, and paraphrases. These incidences appear:

  • when there is a failure to cite direct quotes or borrowed ideas,
  • when “borrowed language” is not enclosed by quotation marks, and
  • when a summary or a paraphrase is not in your own words (Hacker 110).

For examples and further explanation of proper quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing, please consult the manuals to the citation style being used.

Work Cited 
Hacker, Diane. A Pocket Style Manual. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2000.