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Avoid Plagiarism

What is plagiarism and how to avoid it.

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Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

The best way to prevent plagiarism is to learn the proper way to cite, paraphrase, or quote.

Cite*: to mention something as a reason or an example, or in order to support what you are saying (Oxford Learner's Dictionaries)

Paraphrase: ‚Äča statement that expresses something that somebody has written or said using different words, especially in order to make it easier to understand (Oxford Learner's Dictionaries)

Quote: to repeat the exact words that another person has said or written (Oxford Learner's Dictionaries)

* You do not need to cite your source if the information is considered as "common knowledge." Common knowledge is any information that the average, educated reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up. However, there is no clear boundary on what is considered as common knowledge. 


Best practice to avoid plagiarism

  • Keep track of the sources you use
  • Give credit for any ideas, words, images, music, data, etc. that belong to somebody else
  • Cite your sources correctly
  • Put in quotations everything that comes directly from the text, with proper attribution .
  • When you paraphrase, do NOT just rearrange the sentences or replace a few words. You will summarize/express the original idea/argument with your own words to demonstrate your own understanding, with proper attribution
  • Cite correctly any images previously published. Sometimes, it is necessary to request permission to reuse images. Permission can be requested from the publisher's site or using the Copyright Clearance Center
  • Cite or ask permission for images found on the Internet

  • Use images based on their usage rights

Useful Resources

Public Domain Images

A work in the public domain is not protected by intellectual property law. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. You can freely use a public domain work/image without obtaining permission.

Selected public domain image websites:

Creative Commons Images

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that "provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use" an author's creative work with a Creative Commons license chosen by the author. Read the license of each image to decide.

Selected Creative Commons platforms:

Use of Google Image Search


Find images with various usage rights:


  • A public domain work/image can be used without obtaining permission. A work in the public domain is not protected by intellectual property law. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist.

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