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Writing Help for Students

Writing Resources & Services for Lone Star College-Montgomery Students

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism and How to Avoid It Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be defined as the appropriation of another person’s work.

Appropriation means using or taking something that is not yours. Plagiarism is theft by using another person’s words or ideas, and it is academically dishonest because students, faculty, and other writers are expected to do their own work.

What constitutes Plagiarism

  • If you copy another person’s work and put your name on it, you have plagiarized.
  • Obtaining a paper or copying an entire paper from the internet is plagiarism.
  • If someone else writes a paper and you put your name on it, it is considered plagiarism.
  • Paying someone to write your paper is plagiarism.

Other Common Forms of Plagiarism

  • Patchwork plagiarism occurs when a writer borrows sentences and phrases from an original source and blends them into his/her own writing without citing them.
  • Paraphrasing plagiarism occurs when a writer paraphrases or summarizes another author’s work without citing the source.
  • Unintentional plagiarism occurs when writers incorrectly quote or cite sources they are using. This often occurs inadvertently, and it is one of the most common forms of plagiarism.

Avoiding Plagiarism:

Plagiarism can be avoided through the correct use of quotes, paraphrases, and summary and then

properly citing your work, thus giving the original authors credit for their work.

Incorporating Research:

Direct Quote: Direct quotes involve incorporating a person’s exact words into your writing or presentation. You must enclose the words in quotes and then cite the quote appropriately.

Paraphrasing involves changing, restating an author’s writing into your own words, and citing it properly. A paraphrase uses approximately 80 % of your own words and 20% of the author’s words while maintaining the same idea.

Summary: A summary provides a broad overview of the original work in your own words, focusing only on the key points. A summary paragraph may contain associated ideas from several works with the proper citations.