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Citing Sources: Plagiarism

This LibGuide is designed to provide students with assistance in citing sources from a variety of sources.

From the History Department

To avoid plagiarism, the History Departments encourages students to

a) use another person's work word for word only when putting the passage in quotation marks;

b) avoid copying key words or phrases from the original when gathering notes; otherwise, one is likely to transfer the same into the paper;

c) identify the author and source of words, ideas, etc. when paraphrasing;

d) acknowledge to the teacher the help received from others who have contributed to one's understanding of or completion of an assignment.

Source: History Department Policies 

What is Plagiarism?

According to the Burroughs's Academic Integrity Statement, plagiarism results when a student passes off as one's own the ideas, words, thoughts, etc., of another; it is the use without credit of the ideas, experiences, productions, or work of someone else; it is an act of intellectual dishonesty.

This means you have borrowed another's words or ideas, and have not acknowledged that you have done so. You can avoid plagiarism by citing your sources! 

Why is Plagiarism Wrong?

Here are just a few reasons why cheating (which includes plagiarism!) is wrong: 

  • Cheating deprives student of opportunity for intellectual growth.
  • It spoils the student-teacher relationship.
  • It is unfair to others who do not cheat.
  • It will ultimately lower your self-respect, because you can never be proud of anything you got by cheating.
  • Cheating is a lie, because it deceives other people into thinking you know more than you do.
  • If you cheat in school now, you’ll find it easier to cheat in other situations later in life – perhaps even in your closest personal relationships.

Source: Academic Practices, School Culture and Cheating Behavior, by Gary Niels

Ways to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Paraphrase – Read the original source and put it into your own words.
  • Use citations – Follow one of the document formatting guidelines for your discipline (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
  • Use quotes – Quote the source exactly how it appears. Just quoting a few words within your own prose can be very effective,  but remember that anything longer than two words requires quotation marks.
  • Cite Your Own Material – Cite any material you used from your own current or previous classes or previous papers.
  • References – Include a reference page or page of works cited at the end of your research paper.
  • Time - Give yourself plenty of time to complete the assignment! This helps reduce the temptation of plagiarism.