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Academic Honesty Requires that You Document All Your Sources


What Is Plagiarism?

If you submit someone else’s work as your own, you commit plagiarism.

     To attempt to earn credit for someone else’s work is a fraudulent act, whether the original work is published or unpublished.  Misleading your instructor and other readers about the source of your work constitutes plagiarism even if you have permission of the original author to do so, whether explicit permission (e.g., friends conspire to submit the same paper for credit) or implicit permission (e.g., a student downloads a paper from a Web site or copies a paper from an organization’s files.)

Type 1 Plagiarism:

    Not Using Quotation Marks


  • When you use someone else’s words, always put them in quotation marks and cite the source within the body of the text as well as on your Works Cited page.
  • When you use quotation marks, you must use the exact words of the author.
  • Use quotations only when it is absolutely essential for the reader to know exactly what that particular person said word for word.
  • Numerical information must be attributed to its source, but you need not put quotation marks around numbers.

Type 2 Plagiarism:

    Paraphrasing Is Too Similar to Source


  • It is plagiarism to use someone else's sequence of sentences and just change a few words or their position in each sentence.
  • If you find yourself with the source of information in one hand while you are writing your report in the other hand, then there is a good chance you are plagiarizing.  Consult a handbook for tips and guidelines for appropriate paraphrasing, or click here.

Type 3 Plagiarism:

    Not Citing the Source of Information


  • Your sources deserve credit for ideas as well as exact language.  Use attributive tags as well as internal citation conventions.
  • All information/ideas that you obtain from someone else that are not common knowledge must be cited both internally and on the Works Cited page, whether you are paraphrasing or quoting.
  • If you have doubts about whether an idea or fact is common knowledge, or if you think your readers might mistakenly consider an idea to have originated with you when it did not, cite your source.  If you need guidance, consult your instructor.

Back to Academic Honesty Means Avoiding Plagiarism

If you have any doubt about whether you need to cite a source for a particular idea, fact, or point in your paper,
check with your professor.

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Page Last Modified: July 7, 2011

  For suggestions and corrections, please email
Dr. Rebecca Nowacek, Associate Professor of English
Director of the Ott Memorial Writing Center, 240 Raynor Library (414.288.5542)
© 2005 Marquette University.
P.O. Box 1881 · Milwaukee, Wis. USA · 53201-1881