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Plagiarism Guide

Plagiarism occurs knowingly and unknowingly, and is always wrong and carries penalties whatever the cause. Arming oneself with the facts of plagiarism is the best prevention. This plagiarism reference list should be kept close to or in every student's or professional's computer.

Plagiarism Reference List

Copying text "as is" without quotation marks and with no citation or source.

Example: The researcher, John Hughes, used a mixed-methods approach that included quantitative and qualitative data.

Reordering the elements of the source text without citation.

Example: The researcher, John Hughes, included qualitative and quantitative data and used a mixed-methods approach.

Copying pieces (sentences, key phrases) of the source text without citation.

Example: He used a mixed-methods approach that included quantitative and qualitative data. (The use of three or more words in a phrase, without citation, constitutes plagiarism.)

Paraphrasing without citation.

Example: John Hughes performed his research using a mixed-methods approach.

Reproducing information that is not common knowledge without citation.

Example: Common knowledge refers to knowledge that is virtually known by everyone such as the fact that the Earth is round or that there are 365 days in a year.

Incorporating an idea heard in conversation without citation.

Example: A classmate relates an original idea that you borrow and use in a paper without citation. (The citation should be referenced as a "personal communication.")

Using your own past material or another student's material as a new idea without citation.

Example: Using text, etc. from a past paper, either yours or someone else's, with no citation. (Reference this kind of material with the title of the borrowed material.)

Paying for another to contribute to your work without citation.

Example: Paying a classmate, writing service, or anyone else.

Using software or online translators to translate material without citation.

Example: Any translation without citation. The words were not yours.

Paying someone else to do your work, purchasing material, or translating from someone else's material (web-based or hard copy) without citation.

Example: The words were not your own and must be cited.

(Calvano, 2011, p. 1; University of Pittsburgh, 2008)

Plagiarism, intentional or not, comes with penalties. Losing academic or professional standing or a job are real possibilities to offenders. Taking the time to cite and to develop original material is important to the academic and the professional. Know how to cite properly and know what constitutes plagiarism. Keep your good name and learn from the correct writing process.


Calvano, B. (2011). Plagiarism in higher education. Retrieved from

University of Pittsburgh. (2008). Undergraduate plagiarism policy. Retrieved from

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