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The MacDuffie Library: Understanding Plagarism: Using Quotation, Summarizing & Paraphrasing

A Note on Plagiarism


Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas or phrasing knowingly or through carelessness. This includes copying whole papers, paragraphs, sentences, statistics, lab results, artwork, musical lyrics, etc. without attributing the information to a source or person.

Quotation or Word-for-Word Plagiarism
This occurs when the researcher repeats the exact words of the source (verbatim) without using quotation marks and giving necessary credit to the author of the source.

Paraphrasing and Summarizing
This occurs when the researcher restates the ideas of an original source without giving credit to the author or source of the information. This kind of plagiarism also occurs when a researcher uses an author’s keywords or phrases without placing them in quotation marks.

The only exception to the above guidelines is when information is considered Common Knowledge. For more information about what constitutes common knowledge, consult your teacher.

Plagiarism Includes:

  • Copying from reference materials without adequate citation
  • Purchasing a work written by another person
  • Letting someone else write your paper
  • Paraphrasing too closely to the original work
  • Making up citations
  • Submitting as your own someone else’s work either with or without permission
  • “Cutting and pasting” part or all of an existing online source
  • Re-submitting a work you created for another class or project

​Ways to Avoid Plagiarism:

  • Identify resources used in your report paper
  • Cite work when paraphrasing the ideas of others
  • Cite work when directly quoting the written work of the author
  • Learn the correct format for citing sources or where to find the format guidelines
  • Consult your teacher or librarian when you are unsure how to cite a source

Plagiarism - SNL

Overview and Tutorials