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How to Avoid Plagiarism

Information on how to paraphrase, quote, summarize, cite.

Why Cite?

Any time you use someone else's information or ideas, you must acknowledge--or cite--the source.  

Credit must be given for all types of information sources:  movies, words, ideas, music, images, photos, software, charts, graphs, books, journals, magazines, newspapers...  

If you don't give credit, you've plagiarized.  Plagiarism is using someone else's ideas or words without giving credit to the information source, even if it is accidental or if "you didn't know".

The only time you don't need to cite an information source is when you use "common knowledge".

Image source: JRM.  Public domain.  Wikimedia Commons.

When Do I Cite?

"When you borrow words or ideas from another source, you need to acknowledge that source. The following situations almost always require a citation:

  1. whenever you use quotes
  2. whenever you paraphrase
  3. whenever you summarize
  4. whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed
  5. whenever you make specific reference to the work of another
  6. whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas."

 "What is Plagiarism" (n.d.)  Retrieved March 29, 2018.

Academic Honesty

"Lebanon Valley College expects its students to uphold the principles of academic honesty.  Violations of these principles will not be tolerated. Students shall neither hinder nor unfairly assist the efforts of other students to complete their work. All individual work that a student produces and submits as a course assignment must be the student’s own.

...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." 

Considered an act of academic dishonesty, plagiarism can result in failing the assignment, failing the course, and expulsion from the College.

Source: "Academic Honesty."  Lebanon Valley College Catalog.  Accessed 21 May 2010.