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Plagiarism: Home

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Acknowledgement

These "step" pages have been adapted from that of Johnson & Wales University Library (Denver Campus) as well as from the Research & Learning Services Department of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  Stafford Library has received permission to use and adapt these pages.

Avoiding Plagiarism

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 Student Conduct Code, 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 librarian for further clarification.

Tips

To avoid plagiarizing someone else 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.