How to Write a Research Paper: Plagiarism

A step-by-step guide.

Plagiarism @ LVC

According to the LVC Student Handbook, plagiarism:

"...is the act of submitting as one’s own the work (the words, ideas, images, or compositions) of another person or persons without accurate attribution. Plagiarism can manifest itself in various ways: it can arise from sloppy, inaccurate note-taking; it can emerge as the incomplete or incompetent citation of resources; it can take the form of the wholesale submission of another person’s work as one’s own, whether from an online, oral or printed source. The seriousness of an instance of plagiarism—its moral character as an act of academic dishonesty—normally depends upon the extent to which a student intends to deceive and mislead the reader as to the authorship of the work in question. Initially, the instructor will make this determination."

Plagiarism may take many forms: cheating, copying information directly without providing quotation marks, failing to cite sources, or citing sources incorrectly. It does not matter whether you intended to plagiarize or whether the plagiarism occurred unintentionally; it still constitutes academic dishonesty. Ignorance of the rules of correct citation is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism.

Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty can subject a student to academic disciplinary action, and may result in expulsion. 

Real World Examples

Think plagiarism is just an issue for college students? Check out these real world examples of prominent people accused of plagiarizing.

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Avoid

To avoid plagiarizing someone else words or ideas, make sure you:

  • Paraphrase the original text into your own words. Be sure you are not just rearranging phrases or replacing a couple of words.
  • Quote or place quotations marks around text that has been taken directly from the original source.
  • Cite every source of information you use to write your paper unless it is common knowledge or the results of your own research. This includes facts, figures, and statistics as well as opinions and arguments.

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