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For additional resources on plagiarism, including prevention and self-evaluation, see Lindenwood Library's Plagiarism Research Guide. To go directly to the self-test, view the Self-test page on the Plagiarism Research Guide.

Just what is plagiarism?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, plagiarism is:

  • The action or practice of taking some one else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own.

Here are some examples of types of plagiarism:

  • Copying directly from a source without quotations and source citation.
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing another’s idea without attribution.
  • Changing a sentence’s structure but copying words.
  • Changing a sentence’s words but copying its basic structure.
  • Using audio, video, or other media sources without acknowledgement.
  • Submitting a paper written by another student and claiming it as your own.
  • Using information obtained through interviewing an expert on the subject without attribution.
  • Purchasing or downloading a paper from another source and claiming it as your own.
  • Collaborating excessively on an essay with another person.
  • Submitting an essay that was previously written for another class without the consent of both professors (Plagiarism Defined 1).

I plagiarized; so what? What's the big deal?

Plagiarism is a big deal. Being caught plagiarizing can cause you to fail your assignment or class, or even be expelled from the university, as described in the Lindenwood policy below:

The names of students found guilty of cheating, plagiarizing, or deception (including lying) will be sent to the University Provost. A first offense of academic dishonesty may result in a reduced or failing grade on the work/test or possible failure in the course. A second offense by an undergraduate student will lead to failure of the class, and a third offense by an undergraduate student will result in expulsion from the University. Graduate students are expelled after the second offense.

More importantly, plagiarism is lying and cheating. But you are not merely cheating the system; you are cheating yourself. If you are not doing the work yourself to learn something, you will not develop the research and writing skills necessary to succeed outside of academia. 

Can I plagiarize without knowing it?

Certainly you can if you are not careful in conducting your research. Plagiarism is not only copying word for word from a source, but also using another's ideas without giving him or her credit. 

So, how do I avoid plagiarizing?

Fortunately, avoiding plagiarism is as easy as committing it. Here are a few helpful tips for avoiding plagiarism:

  • Take extensive notes when you are researching, especially where each idea or direct word-for-word quotation comes from.
  • Always place quotation marks around exact quotes when you copy the information the first time.
  • When cutting and pasting, mark the copied material and always keep exact notes about where you found the text and images.
  • If you are paraphrasing, it's important to note in the text what the original source was.

Need help with Citations?

You can always Contact Us. The librarians at Lindenwood Library are always happy to help. In addition, the following resources can help you with your citations:

  • For help with: APA
  • For help with: MLA
  • World Cat will export Citation Information.

You can always visit the Writing Center at the LARC as well. Tutors are available most days of the week to help you on all stages of your research and writing assignments.

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