The Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as “the wrongful appropriation or purloining, and publication as one’s own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas (literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, etc.) of another,” or “a purloined idea, design, passage, or work.” According to the MSC Student Handbook, plagiarism is “using another’s phrasing, concepts or line of reasoning as your own without giving proper credit to the author or creator” (35).
Any time you use ideas that are not your own in anything that you write, you must supply a citation in an identifiable citation method, e.g., MLA, Chicago, etc. See Plagiarism.org for a more detailed definition.
Remember three things:
- If an idea is used from a source verbatim, it must be quoted by enclosing it in quotation marks and cited.
- If an idea is used from a source in the writer’s own language, it is a paraphrase and must be cited. Just moving a couple of words around and not citing is also considered plagiarism.
- If an idea used is not original nor is it common knowledge, a source must be cited.
Unsure as to what to cite, when to cite, and how to cite? Check your handbook for the best information. You might also try this tutorial or see some examples. Also see “Turn It In.” Read more on plagiarism from Dr. Rogers.