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What is plagiarism in academic writing?

What is plagiarism and why it matters

Plagiarism refers to using someone else’s words, ideas, and information without giving them due credit, that is, without citing them.

If you quote an author’s words without quotation marks, or paraphrase an idea without acknowledging where it came from, you are plagiarizing.

Using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own constitutes intellectual theft and is a breach of academic integrity. By claiming credit for ideas or results you haven’t generated yourself, you are hurting your reputation as a researcher and that of your institution. You are also deceiving readers. As a result, plagiarism is taken seriously and can be severely punished.

The different types of plagiarism

There are many ways that someone can plagiarize, including:

  • Plagiarizing an entire text; using someone else’s essay or assignment as your own
  • Copying a string of sentences from different sources and stitching them together in a new text
  • Copy-pasting someone else’s words verbatim, without quotation marks or references
  • Paraphrasing someone else’s words or ideas without referencing them
  • Recycling your own work or datasets as if they hadn’t already been submitted or published somewhere else