Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.
Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes: it gives proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and it allows those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references.
According to Columbia College's Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures, plagiarism is using others' ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.
Plagiarism may take many forms: cheating, copying information directly without providing quotation marks, failing to cite sources, or citing sources incorrectly. It does not matter whether you intended to plagiarize or whether the plagiarism occurred unintentionally; it still constitutes academic dishonesty. Ignorance of the rules of correct citation is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism.
Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty can subject a student to both academic discipline and disciplinary action under the university Student Conduct Review Process and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, course, or dismissal from Columbia College.
If you are unclear as to what constitutes plagiarism, ask your instructor or a writing center tutor for further clarification.
To avoid plagiarizing someone else's words or ideas:
Paraphrase the original text into your own words. Be sure you are not just rearranging phrases or replacing a couple of words.
Use quotation marks around text that has been taken directly from the original source.
Cite every source of information you use to write your paper unless it is common knowledge or the results of your own research. This includes facts, figures, and statistics as well as opinions and arguments.
To paraphrase, follow these steps:
To avoid plagiarizing, you must change both the sentence structure and the words of the original text.
Paraphrasing Example 1.
If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists (Davis 26).
Davis observed that the existence of a signing ape unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists (26).
Davis observed that if the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior (26).
Davis observed both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise upon learning of an ape’s ability to use sign language (26).
Paraphrasing Example 2.
The automotive industry has not shown good judgment in designing automotive features that distract drivers. A classic example is the use of a touch-sensitive screen to replace al the controls for radios, tape/CD players, and heating/cooling. Although an interesting technology, such devices require that the driver take his eyes off the road.
- Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi, Letter to a Massachusetts state senator, p.3
Radio show hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi argue that the automotive industry has not demonstrated good judgment in devising car features that distract drivers. One feature is a touch-sensitive screen that replaced controls for radios, tape/CD players, and heating/cooling. Although the technology is interesting, such devices require that a driver look away from the road (3).
Radio show hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi claim that motor vehicle manufacturers do not always design features with safety in mind. For example, when designers replaced radio, CD player, and temperature control knobs with touch-sensitive panels, they were forgetting one thing: To use the panels, drivers would need to take their eyes off the road (3).
Examples taken from: Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 5th ed. Boston: Beford/St. Martin’s, 2004.