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What is plagiarism?

When/if you fail to give proper credit, you are conducting plagiarism, which is a major oversight that has many negative consequences.

Plagiarism is a word that comes from a Latin root meaning "to kidnap," and if you plagiarize ideas or content, that's exactly what you're doing: you're kidnapping the content and pretending as if it is your own original work. This applies to words, images, a full essay, or a full project--if you didn't create it yourself, you need to give credit to the source, and if you fail to, you're plagiarizing.

In college, all of the following count as plagiarism:
--You copy what someone else has written and pretend that you wrote it yourself
--You incorrectly quote or paraphrase someone else's words
--You fail to cite information using a recognized style, such as MLA or APA

Practically every college campus in America documents its policy about Academic Honesty, which explains the penalties if you are caught plagiarizing content in your school assignments. But the consequences typically include:

  • Earning an automatic zero or "F" on the assignment;
  • Being reported to the college's Discipline office if you are caught plagiarizing on more than one occasion; and...
  • Being dismissed from (kicked out of) the college entirely if you repeatedly plagiarize.

In-text Citations - How To

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