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DIY Research Guide: Plagiarism

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Defining Plagiarism

To plagiarize:

  1. To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source.
  2. To commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

(Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online:

The Different Types of Plagiarism

Watch this video to learn all the different types of plagiarism. (Sea Devil TV Productions.)

Avoiding Plagiarism

Here are a few tricks to help you avoid plagiarism:

  • Take notes as you research!  Write down citation information and brief notes on each source you might use in your assignments.
  • Color code your sentences as you write to distinguish what is your idea and what is someone else's idea.  Simply change the colors to black when you are done writing.
  • Proofread your paper to check for any citation mistakes.
  • Keep a source (like a library book) with you until you are absolutely done with your assignment.  Bookmark web content that you might use.
  • Get help with your writing if every sentence in your assignment needs a citation.  You might not be meeting the objectives of the assignment.

Test Yourself