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Henry Madden Library

Step 8 - Understanding Issues of Plagiarism

Key Points
  1. Plagiarism can easily occur. Be aware of its different forms.
  2. Take steps to avoid plagiarism, such as taking accurate bibliographic notes and reading "copyright" or "terms" of use on web sites.
  3. There are great educational benefits in properly using and citing your sources.

Student Reading a Book

Plagiarism is the presentation of others' ideas as your own. It is still plagiarism even if you do not do it intentionally. It can be found in many different forms. Here are some common examples.

  • Quoting someone's words but not properly citing the authors information.
  • Paraphrasing an idea and not citing the source.
  • Using someones image, audio, video, spreadsheet, etc without proper citation
  • Buying or submitting some else's research paper
  • Citing a source with fake bibliographic information
  • Submitting a paper you wrote for a previous class in your current class
  • Having someone else write all or part of your paper
  • Using all or parts of a speech found on the Internet without citing it.

When you properly cite your sources:

You gain educational skills in the areas of research, time management, analysis, evaluation and writing.

Consequences of Plagiarism

Code Governing Student Conduct in the California State University

Under “Unacceptable Student Behavior” section “Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty that are intended to gain unfair academic advantage” are unacceptable and may involve disciplinary action. (Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism) Legally, the “Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students may include, but is not limited to, the following: blocking the possibility of substituting a grade earned later in the same course, a written reprimand, probation, suspension, or expulsion”. The student may have to go through a legal hearing on campus once they are accused of plagiarism. (CSU Fresno Judicial Affairs, 2006)

Important Remember

  • Cite all research used in your paper at both the end of your paper and after your reference to it in your paper. Use the appropriate Citation Style required (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc).
  • Take accurate bibliographic notes throughout your research.
  • Be aware of and always read the "Copyrights" and "Terms of Use" if you decide to use other people's work. This is very important when using images and videos found on the internet, as you may need to get the approval of the owner of the work in order to use it yourself?


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