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Plagiarism: Accidental Plagiarism


Copy / Paste Plagiarism

Copy/paste is, perhaps, the way most students inadvertently plagiarize. Here's how to avoid plagiarism when you copy/paste text FROM ANY SOURCE:

  • Always cite the source, even if you change the wording slightly, paraphrase or summarize
  • If you quote directly and do not change the wording, place quotes around the material copied (or use a block quote) AND cite
  • Web sources (text, video, audio, graphics, pictures) must be cited and/or you must obtain permission to use

Your instructor will let you know which style (APA, MLA, or Turabian) to use for your paper.  In addition to in-text citations, you need a bibliography that lists each source cited in-text. Do not wait until the last minute to to write your paper or to prepare your works cited (bibliography) page.

Using Another Paper

Plagiarism includes:

  • Using a paper written by someone else
  • Using your own paper, written for another class, without the instructor's knowledge

An Interview

If you interview someone without identifying your source, even if it is a casual conversation from which you get ideas and/or quotes, it is plagiarism. You must cite your source.


How to Avoid Plagiarism: a video

Video by Bainbridge State College.