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Plagiarism: Plagiarism Defined

This guide explores plagiarism and academic honesty at Massasoit.

Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own

From The Oxford Dictionary

Massasoit Community College has an Academic Honesty policy in place which reads in part:

In accepting admission to Massasoit Community College, students also accept the responsibility for maintaining high standards of academic integrity and scholarly practice. Plagiarism - using another person's words or ideas without acknowledgement - is strictly forbidden. This means that dependence on the ideas or language of others in a student's oral, written, technical and artistic work must be properly acknowledged and documented.

The process of "acknowledging and documenting" others' ideas is called the citation process.

Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be both intentional and unintentional.

Intentional plagiarism can include:

  • Purchasing a paper and turning it in as your own
  • Hiring another person to write your paper
  • Cutting and pasting from another work without citing
  • Copying verbatim
  • Reusing a paper from another class
  • Making minor changes to the wording of someone else's ideas without citing
  • Stringing together quotes without connecting the ideas with your own original work

Unintentional, or accidental, plagiarism occurs when using the words or ideas of others and failing to quote or give credit, perhaps because of a lack of knowledge about proper citation.

This can include:

  • Paraphrasing poorly
  • Quoting without properly using quotation marks and citations
  • Forgetting citations or citing inaccurately 

Credit Where Credit is Due

Portland Community College Library. "Credit Where Credit is Due." YouTube, November 2019.

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