Landman Library

Plagiarism information for Students

What Is Plagiarism?

According to AU’s Student Handbook, it is “Appropriating the ideas, concepts, images (including but not limited to drawings, designs, or photographs) or language of another person and presenting them without attribution” (Violations of the Code of Academic Responsibility).

How Do I Avoid It?

Quote Your Source Properly

Quote a Source does a good job of explaining the right way to do this (University of Wisconsin’s Writing Center).

Paraphrase Your Source Properly

Paraphrase a Source does a good job of explaining the right way to do this (University of Wisconsin’s Writing Center).

Cite Your Source Properly

In academic writing, there are standard ways of citing sources called “styles.” The style an author uses will depend upon the audience. It will usually be someone like a course professor who will dictate what style to use for a paper or other kind of work.

APA is common for writing in the social sciences and some sciences. MLA is common for writing in the liberal arts and humanities. APA Citation Style and MLA Citation Style are favorites of the librarians at Landman Library for information about citing sources (OWL @ Purdue University).

What Is Not Plagiarism?

Arguably, equally important to knowing what is plagiarism is knowing what is not. Citing your sources or quoting exact wording with proper citation is not. Citing common knowledge is also not plagiarism. 

Common Knowledge does a good job of defining common knowledge and offers examples (MIT).

Proper Attribution and the Internet

Everything on the Internet was created by someone. Take the time to figure out who authored the text or the image you want to use. Citation styles give options if you can’t find an author’s name.

Plagiarism Checkers

There are web applications that will allow you to see if what you wrote is plagiarism or not. Here are two (not evaluated):

Citation Generators

There are many tools out on the Internet that you can use to generate citations. You type in your information and the generator gives you the, hopefully, proper citation. You still need to know your citation style well-enough to proofread, but they could save you time and effort.

  • EndNote Web is paid for by Arcadia University. It works with many of our article databases to collect and organize your articles and produce your citation list.
  • Mendeley is a popular, free application that also works with many article databases.
  • Zotero is a popular, free application that works with article databases and webpages.

Compare the three but remember EndNote Web is paid for by Arcadia University.

Learn more about reference management software (Wikipedia).