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Learn what plagiarism is and the steps you can take to avoid it in your own work.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism (noun) - The practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.

The New Oxford American Dictionary

Plagiarism ranges from the obvious:

  • Buying a paper online and passing it off as your own
  • Copying another person's paper and passing it off as your own
  • Copying large sections of text and passing it off as your own writing

To the not so obvious:

  • Using the words of a source too closely when paraphrasing
  • Not citing someone's original ideas
  • Presenting facts without saying where you found them

Unfortunately, ignorance of the rules of plagiarism is not a defense. It is your responsibility to make sure work that you hand in is not plagiarized in any way. 

Plagiarism is Identity Theft

Although this great video from Washburn University is funny, plagiarism itself is not. To see some of the real world consequences of plagiarism, look at our Plagiarism in the News box on this page.

Plagiarism in the News

Plagiarism is a very serious offense, both in academia and the professional world, and the famous names below were all caught - and forced to face the consequences - for plagiarizing the works of another.