UC 1010: Plagiarism & Citing your Sources

Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Avoid it

Indeed, plagiarism is a serious offense that can cause you to earn a zero on a paper, fail a course, or, worst case scenario, to get kicked out of school.

There are four types of plagiarism, of which two you are most likely aware and two you are not.

The four types of plagiarism are:

  • Intentionally or unintentionally taking someone's words and/or ideas word-for-word and claiming them as your own
  • Intentionally or unintentionally paraphrasing someone's words and/or ideas and claiming them as your own
  • "Recycling" a paper or project, meaning that you turn in a paper more than once to different professors in different classes
  • Taking portions of your own previous work and not citing yourself, despite the fact that your paper is unpublished and that it is your work to begin with

In order to avoid losing a grade, failing a class, or getting the boot from university, just make it a habit that you will cite your sources as you collect them for your research, even if you don't actually end up using them.  This way you won't find yourself in a position where you have the information, but not the source information (authors, title, publication information, pages numbers, etc.) to cite it according to MLA 7th ed. standards or APA 6th ed. standards.

Also, citing your sources makes you a better researcher.  It helps you understand why we have standards for citation.  For example, the address to my apartment is based on a standard that we all understand: number and street name, apt. #, city, state, zip code.  MLA citations work exactly the same way.  Once you begin to create the citations, you will notice the patterns within the different formulae to help you distinguish, just by looking at a citation, whether it refers to a book, a journal article or a website...just like the address has different patterns to tell us whether we are being directed to a house, an apartment, or a business suite.

To help you learn how to cite and develop your works cited page, use NoodleTools (See navigation to the left to learn about and how to use NoodleTools) .  It is a self-guided teaching tool that also directs you to build a perfect works cited page. 

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Part 1: Plagiarism Tutorial

Plagiarism

Click on the image to open the tutorial developed by the University Libraries at the U of Southern Mississippi.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library