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What is Plagiarism?
The American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition, defines the verb plagiarize as "to use and pass
off (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own" or "to appropriate for use
as one's own passages or ideas from (another). The Latin root of plagiarize is
plagiarius which means kidnapper.
Plagiarism is also addressed
in the Methodist University Academic Catalog which states that
"anything that is
written in a paper, book report, or any other assignment must be in the
student's own words or must properly and fully indicate the source(s). Anything
that students copy word for word from another source is a direct quotation. All
direct quotations must be shown as such and must be properly documented.
Students must also rewrite paraphrased material in a style and language that
are distinctively their own; merely rearranging the words found in a scholarly
source is plagiarism. Material that is paraphrased must be documented. For methods of documentation and all others aspects of manuscript form, students should follow either current practices advocated by the Modern Language Association (MLA) or other reliable manuals recommended by individual departments and/or professors."
For more information on this,
please consult the Methodist University Academic Catalog or your academic advisor.
Ways to Avoid Plagiarism When Using Library Resources
- Pick a topic that interests
you! It will be easier to understand others' thoughts and integrate (not just
insert) them into your paper.
- Start your research early -
you will produce a better paper and spend more time on your work when you're
not under pressure.
- When you are making
photocopies, always remember to write down where you got your information, so
you will not be tempted later to make up the citation.
- Take notes from a book or
journal article using keywords rather than whole phrases or sentences from the
original. This will make it easier for you to put the ideas into your own
words. Copy down the citation information for the source and include it in your
- If you can't find a way to
paraphrase the information, quote directly from the material giving the correct
citation to the original. Check with your instructor to make sure that quoting
is permitted first.
- If you're not certain that
you're paraphrasing instead of plagiarizing, have an advisor or instructor take
a look at a draft of your paper.
If your professor has enrolled
your class in Turn-It-In, the
anti-plagiarism software, you will want to know how to open your account and
submit assignments. For information on using Turn-It-In, go to the library's
For assistance with Turn-It-In, please contact the Davis
Memorial Library Reference Desk at (910) 630-7123.
Avoiding Plagiarism (OWL Purdue Online)
Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism