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This guide provides an overview of plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism?

In general, plagiarism is deliberate and/ or unintentional use of someone's words (verbal and written), ideas (concrete and implied), physical works (including artwork and photography), and digital content (including images, video, audio, etc.) without giving them credit.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines "plagiarize" as:

  •     to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  •      to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  •      to commit literary theft
  •      to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
“Plagiarize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2017.

Plagiarism is a serious offense as it involves dishonesty and a lack of integrity in one’s writing or creative work. As we will learn in other parts of this guide, plagiarism can take various forms causing confusion and overwhelming individuals as they try to identify where to start and how to avoid it. Take a moment to watch, Student Success Series, A Student’s Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism and Understanding Citations, to gain a better understanding of plagiarism, how to avoid it, and the proper way to cite sources.

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