|Plagiarism seems like such an easy concept to
understand: the dishonest practice of claiming credit for
something you didn't do. Avoiding plagiarism seems equally simple: giving credit where credit is due. And
it is that simple — sort of.
is a combination of absorbing information from experts and developing our
own reasoned thoughts on a subject. When students demonstrate their
knowledge on a subject, often in the form of written papers, they are
expected to show, by giving credit, how these experts have informed their understanding and
interpretation. When proper credit for an idea or specific
language is not given, the student has plagiarized.
some instances of plagiarism are well understood by most people, other types are not as obvious. Students know that putting their name on a paper written
by someone else is plagiarism, but they are less clear about when to give
credit to others for ideas included in their papers. This site attempts to clarify what actions
are considered plagiarism and provide techniques for avoiding them. A brief
glossary is included to clarify some of the language used to talk about
plagiarism. To illustrate some of the citation styles, each section uses a different citation format.
The Checkpoint in each section gives the reader an opportunity to
check their understanding of the concepts covered. Students can turn in the results
of these quizzes to their professor to show
what they have learned about plagiarism. Because there is no one way to define the concept of plagiarism, the Checkpoints also let students make a list of questions to
ask their professor to determine how he or she interprets some of the issues.