Plagiarism is one of most serious academic offenses you can commit at college. If you’re caught, it will result (at least) in a zero on the assignment containing the plagiarism, or (at worst) you can be expelled from the school! It doesn’t matter if the plagiarism was intentional or not.
Why is plagiarism so bad? Writers, scientists, inventors etc. all work hard to create new ideas, new knowledge, and new things. If anyone can come along and take their work and pass it off as their own without giving credit where it is due, it’s like stealing their “intellectual property”. Our school and our society depend on honesty and fairness, so rules against plagiarism are universal, strict and are enforced.
Read the 10 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in Your Papers . Each tip is in one of the drop downs.
Tips reproduced with permission from University of Alberta—OSJA. Videos from the U of A are added here with permission.
It’s easy to accidentally plagiarize if you don’t keep accurate notes as you research your paper. Every time you write ANYTHING down, jot down where the idea came from, so you’re ready to cite it later if you do use it.
Ask your instructor what style is required (e.g. APA, MLA), and then get the correct style guide from the library. The full guide has examples of almost all the possible sources you could use, from books to websites, even radio shows.
Research on the Internet has made it easy to copy and paste, and then forget to cite. Make it a practice to never copy and paste anything without also copying the URL (web address) and date that you retrieved the information.
One of the top reasons students give for plagiarism is stress. They feel overwhelmed, and end up plagiarizing either accidentally or intentionally. The consequences are still the same, so don’t risk it. If you find yourself overwhelmed, seek help or ask for an extension.