What is Plagiarism?

According to the New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, plagiarism can be defined as "Literary theft. Plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer's language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers' words as their legal property. To avoid the charge of plagiarism, writers take care to credit those from whom they borrow and quote." Plagiarism can include a variety of activities such as:

  • Directly Quoting a Work Without Citing Your Source


  • Using Another's Ideas/Information Without Citing Where It Came From


  • Buying, Stealing, Borrowing A Paper


  • Copying Large Sections of Paper and Claiming it as Your Own



How Do I Avoid Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is bad and is to be avoided at all costs.  Essentially, plagiarism is considered to be an act of stealing, as you are basically taking the thoughts and ideas or Intellectual Property of another.  Consequences for plagiarizing can include getting an automatic "F" on your paper, and in severe cases, getting kicked out of college. 

To avoid plagiarism, you must properly cite your sources and create a bibliography for the sources you cite.  This guide will provide instruction on what you need to cite, how to cite sources in your paper, how to create a bibliography, the major differences in the citation styles (MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, etc.), and tools and tricks available in your library to make your efforts easier.



Always Give Credit Where Credit is Due!


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Consequences for plagiarizing can include getting an automatic "F" on a paper and, in severe cases, getting kicked out of college.



Citation. (2014, August 1). Retrieved August 1, 2014, from

Plagiarism (2002). In The new dictionary of cultural literacy, Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from


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