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Avoid Plagiarism

What is plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Research Services Librarian

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Daniela Solomon
Kelvin Smith Library Room 201-L

Research Services Librarian for Chemistry (interim) and Engineering: Biomedical; Chemical & Biomolecular (interim); Civil; Computer & Data Science; Electrical, Computer and Systems; Macromolecular Science (interim); Materials Science; Mechanical & Aerospace.
Phone (216)368-8790

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What is Plagiarism?

Nina Paley [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


According to Oxford Dictionary of English, plagiarism is "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own." Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional.


  • Turning in someone else's work as your own
  • Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not 
  • Copying images from the Internet to use in your own paper or website without giving credit
  • Using copyrighted music as the soundtrack of your video

YouTube video created by WriteCheckVideos.

Why is it important to avoid plagiarism

Plagiarism constitutes a breach of academic integrity and represents substandard scholarship. Plagiarism can have lasting impact on the future career, regardless of whether it was intentional or not.

The responsibility to avoid plagiarism belongs with the student or researcher. Plagiarism can be avoided by learning how to correctly acknowledge any ideas, words, images, data, etc. that belong to somebody else.

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