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**Research Basics**: Avoiding Plagiarism

Easy to follow guide on how to do research step by step, from start to finish. Choosing and researching a topic, using library materials, finding books and articles, search strategies, evaluating information and more!

Avoiding Plagiarism

Whether intentional or accidental, plagiarism is a violation of the Academic Honor Code, which states that "all students are expected to accept and abide by the values of honesty, integrity, and truthfulness in their academic pursuits." Penalties for violating the Academic Honor Code can range from failure for the assignment involved to failure of the course. Repeated violations can result in dismissal from the University. (Source: 2017-18 Student Handbook, p.87, Salve Regina University)

What is plagiarism?
According to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, to plagiarize means "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own; use (another's production) without crediting the source; to commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source." (2004)

Plagiarism includes the following offenses:

  • Copying, quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing from any source without giving proper credit.
  • Submitting another's work as your own.
  • Purchasing or downloading a paper and turning it in as your own work.

      (Source: Taken from "Preventing Plagiarism: A Guide for Students" from the Staley Library at Millikin University)


How can I avoid plagiarism?
To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you:

  • Directly quote another person's written or spoken words. Be sure to enclose these words and/or sentences in quotations marks!
  • Paraphrase another person's spoken or written words. Paraphrase means to re-write in your own words; merely reordering or substituting words is still considered plagiarism!
  • Use theories, ideas, opinions, research, etc. that are not your own.
  • Use historical, statistical, or scientific facts or data that are not your own.

        (Source: Taken from "Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It" from Writing Tutorial Services at Indiana University)

Why do I need to cite sources?
Usually all research papers must include citations. Citations ensure:


  • that anyone reading your paper can easily find your sources
  • that the words and ideas used from your sources are not assumed to be your own
  • that authors and researchers are properly credited for their original work

Where can I find more information on plagiarism?