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Centerville: Plagiarism

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What is plagiarism?

What Is Plagiarism?

Straight from the Fortis Centerville Online Catalog, the hub for Fortis College online courses, Plagiarism is the, "Submission of the work of another person for credit, or failure to properly cite references for any work which is not original to the student; copying the work of others, allowing another student to copy from the student, student submitting the same work in more than one course" (Fortis Centerville, 2023, p. 53). 

  • Another definition that better explains the why of plagiarism is the American Psychological Association's definition: "Plagiarism is the act of presenting the words, ideas, or images of another as your own; it denies authors or creators of content the credit they are due. Whether deliberate or unintentional, plagiarism violates ethical standards in scholarship (see APA Ethics Code Standard 8.11, Plagiarism)" (Plagiarism, 2022).

Simply put, Plagiarism is using someone else's work as your own without giving credit to them.

How to Avoid Plagiarism?

Avoiding plagiarism is extremely simple: 

  • Cite anything that you take from anyone and put into your writing. Whether you type word for word and place the concept in quotation marks or summarize it in your own words, you have to list the in-text citation at the end of the sentence AND have a reference page referring to the location of the information. 
  • Dot not claim someone's work as your own.

The complicated part is recognizing that explaining someone else's complex idea throughout a paper may not be plagiarism while explaining someone's idea in 1 sentence will likely be plagiarism.

There is also an exception to plagiarism, which is common public knowledge. Anything that most people would know without having to read and article or listen to a specialist would generally fall under common knowledge, such as idioms or high school level information. 

When it doubt, cite it and spend another sentence talking about your interpretation of the information.

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