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Office of Research Integrity

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is scholarly theft, and the unacknowledged use of secondary sources. More specifically, any written or oral presentation in which the writer or speaker does not distinguish clearly between original and borrowed material constitutes plagiarism.

Because students, as scholars, must make frequent use of the concepts and facts developed by other scholars, plagiarism is not the mere use of another’s facts and ideas. However, it is plagiarism when students present the work of other scholars as if it were their own work.

Plagiarism is committed in a number of ways:

  1. reproducing another author’s writing as if it were one’s own
  2. paraphrasing another author’s work without citing the original
  3. borrowing from another author’s ideas, even though those ideas are reworded, without giving credit
  4. copying another author’s organization without giving credit

Plagiarism is a serious offense. An act of plagiarism may lead to a failing grade on the paper and in the course, as well as sanctions that may be imposed by the student judicial system.

*description and explanation taken from the University of Southern Mississippi Student Handbook.