The Research Process: 5a. Plagiarism

A step-by-step guide for getting started in the research process.

Plagiarism @ CSCC

According to the Student Policy and Procedures, plagiarism is:

(a) Submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work which has been wholly or partly created by another person.

(b) Presenting as one’s own the ideas, organization, or wording of another person without acknowledgment of sources.

(c) Knowingly permitting one’s own work to be submitted by another student as if it were the student’s own.

Plagiarism may take many forms: cheating, copying information directly without providing quotation marks, failing to cite sources, or citing sources incorrectly. It does not matter whether you intended to plagiarize or whether the plagiarism occurred unintentionally; it still constitutes academic dishonesty.

Ignorance of the rules of correct citation is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism.


Even if you paraphrase or put something into your own words, you still need to cite the original source.

Avoid Plagiarism

To avoid plagiarizing someone else words or ideas, make sure you:

  • Paraphrase the original text into your own words. The goal is to re-express the thoughts, not just to rearrange phrases or replace a couple of words.
  • Use quotation marks around text that has been taken directly from the original source.
  • Cite every source of information you use to write your paper unless it is common knowledge or the results of your own research. This includes facts, figures, and statistics as well as opinions and arguments.

Plagiarism Tutorials

Real World Examples

Think plagiarism is just an issue for college students? Think again! Check out these real world examples of celebrities accused of plagiarizing:

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