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Plagiarism and how to avoid it

What is Plagiarism?

Definition in Oxford English Dictionary: 
"The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft."*

* "plagiarism, n." OED Online, Oxford University Press, March 2019, Accessed 8 May 2019.

Unintential plagiarism

Plagiarism can be done Intentionally or UNINTENTIONALLY but...

  • No excuses!!

- I didn’t know that a web site had to be cited!
- I didn’t know that I had to cite what TV show I saw that on

- I thought I only had to cite it if I used their exact words – not if I reword it!

  • You are responsible for knowing what plagiarism is and avoiding it!!

Avoiding plagiarism

  • Give credit to original author(s) for:
    - Direct quotations
    - Paraphrasing (rewording someone else’s words)
    - Other people’s ideas, opinions, theories
    - Using facts that are NOT common knowledge

What does your professor want?

  • Your professors want to know that you read the important works on your topic
  • Your professors are more impressed with the quality of your citations than ‘your ideas’ with no backing!
  • QUOTE – paraphrase – GIVE CREDIT!!!

How to avoid plagiarism

  • Do research (read article, web site, book)
    Copy citation information and the quote
    Use    or   to save citations
    Send citation info to yourself by email
    Copy the information and file it!

BE responsible! BE organized!
Save time and effort!
How doesn’t matter – just do it!!

Consequences at AUP for Plagiarism

Plagiarism can bring serious consequences:

  • fail an assignment
  • fail a course
  • suspension from AUP for 1-2 semesters
  • kicked out of AUP

Please read this page for more information.


Still not sure?

  • Ask your professor
  • Ask a librarian
  • When in doubt as to whether something is a commonly known fact – give credit to author
    Research help – ask a question or make an appointment with a reference librarian!