What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the act of submitting someone else's work as your own. It is an academic policy that is being used in all classes. Whether you have to write a science paper, a book report, or do an art project, you can't steal words from other sources. Plagiarism is a policy that many students easily get confused on, especially when doing school assignments.
What every student needs to know about plagiarism
Suppose you have to write a report for English on a certain work of literature that your teacher has covered in class. You go onto the Internet and find a great resource that tells you all about the book. If you copy and paste some of the text into your own paper without citing the source properly and hand it in, that's an obvious example of plagiarism.
The consequences for plagiarism are serious. Why? Because plagiarizing someone else's work is like cheating off of someone else during a test. If you're caught plagiarizing, you might end up getting a zero on the assignment, failing the entire class, or getting kicked out of school. However, you can easily avoid plagiarism by including citations in your papers.
Why is it important to include citations?
Citations in your papers show your teacher that you have not plagiarized from another source. They give credit to the sources you use. Here are some ways on how students should use citations.
If you use someone else's words exactly, word-for-word, you have to put them in quotation marks. You have to give credit to the author of the source by either giving the name of the source in your paper or use in-text citations. To use in-text citations, you use the author's last name and then the page number from the source.
When you include quotes from other sources, make sure you are clear on who said what. If you are using two or more sources in your paper, make sure you use the author's name before placing your quote.
The key to writing your paper successfully is paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is when you rewrite the sentence from another source into your own words without changing the original content. Even if you paraphrase from another source, you still have to cite the source.
Finally, you have to include a bibliography, or a list of all the sources you have used, at the end of your paper. This shows your teacher that you have used reliable sources.
Not every source you find on the Internet is reliable, especially when it comes to writing papers. You can tell if a source is credible and worth citing by how well the authors support their ideas, how accurate the information is on the site, and the quality of the writing. We recommend that you check with your teacher on the sources you should use when your teacher gives you an assignment.
By following these guidelines, you can avoid plagiarism and write your papers successfully.