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Plagiarism Tutorial

What is Plagiarism?

Concordia University, St. Paul's Student Policies Handbook ("Academic Integrity" (FH 6.87)) defines plagiarism as, "the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials."

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can result in severe punishments, ranging from being given a failing grade in a class to suspension or expulsion from the university. 

Common Types of Plagiarism

  • Direct Plagiarism: When you either copy a passage from another source word for word without citing it, paraphrase a source without citing it, or turn in an entire essay not written by you as your own work.
  • Self-Plagiarism: When you use an essay that you wrote for a previous class to satisfy requirements for a different class.
  • Mosaic/Patchwork Plagiarism: Often unintentional, mosaic or patchwork plagiarism involves rearranging pieces of many different sources into a work of your own without properly citing the sources.
  • Accidental Plagiarism:  Occurs when you unintentionally neglect to cite a source, attribute it improperly, or improperly paraphrase or summarize it. 

Avoiding Plagiarism Tips

  • Master the Art of Citing Sources with Quotation, Paraphrase and Summary: Knowing how to properly integrate other sources into your own will ensure that you do not commit accidental plagiarism.
  • Keep Track of Your Sources: Keep a running bibliography of the sources you will use in your essay so that you can easily refer back to them when writing.
  • Practice Proper Note-Taking: For each source you are using, be sure to clearly distinguish in your notes between which ideas are your own and which are ideas original to your source.
  • Follow Citation Guidelines: Be sure you are formatting your citations correctly.
  • If in Doubt, Cite!