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Plagiarism Defined:

Plagiarism is using another persons words or ideas and pretending they are your own. Copying directly from books, articles, and web sites without giving the author credit is plagiarism and is never acceptable.

Avoid Plagiarism:

Always give credit to the original author. (Ask your professor or a librarian about how to properly cite a source.)

Paraphrasing an author (putting the author's ideas in your own words) is still plagiarism if you do not give the original author credit in a citation.

Example of Plagiarism:

Source: Trained Librarians are leaders in their communities. They understand community development. They provide access to the training and information required for a strong economic environment and an informed citizenry. They support the cultural richness of their communities. They share in the responsibility of educating our children. (Rogers, 2002).

Summary: Sharing in the responsibility of educating our children, librarians provide access to information required for a strong economy and an informed citizenry. (Rogers, 2002).

The above summary commits plagiarism by retaining exact phrases from the original text. Compare it to the following:

Acceptable Summary: In her recent speech, Rogers (2002) identifies the roles librarians play in their communities. By educating patrons to find information, professional librarians strengthen communities economically, educationally and culturally.

By putting down the source of the words or ideas used in your papers you show that you looked up books, articles, sites.  You engaged in a research process.

When you paraphrase another and cite the original author you show that you located the appropriate material, analyzed the content, and synthesized it into your own work.

When you cite material correctly you differentiate it from the original words or ideas that you put into your paper.  Your original material stands out.  As educated people we are interested in contributing to the larger body of wisdom on a subject. It's not a contribution if you only use other people's words or ideas.



Coe College Writing Center (for bibliographic citations)

Bedford St. Martins Citation Styles Online


MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 
REF. LB2369.M53 1999 (reference section, first floor)

A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations REF. LB2369 .T8 1996 (reference sections, first floor)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
REF. BF7637.P83 2001 (reference section, first floor)

The Plagiarism Handbook 
REF. PN167 .H37 2001 (reference section, first floor)

Using Sources Effectively: Strengthening Your Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism
REF. PN 167 .H39 2002 (reference section, first floor)

Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences 
QH304 .M36 2001 (general collection, third floor)