Academic Honesty: How to Avoid Plagiarism
What is the Plagiarism Spectrum? The Plagiarism Spectrum identifies 10 types of plagiarism based on findings from a worldwide survey of nearly 900 secondary and higher education instructors. Each type has been given an easy-to-remember moniker to help [you] better identify and discuss the ramifications of plagiarism in student writing.
#1 CLONE: Submitting another's work, word-for-word, as one's own
#2 CTRL+C: Contains significant portions of text from a single source without alterations
#3 Find- Replace: Changing keywords and phrases but retaining the essential content of the source
#4 Remix: Paraphrases from multiple sources, made to fit together
#5 Recycle: Borrows generously from the writer's previous work without citation
#6 Hybrid: Combines perfectly cited sources with copied passages without citation
#7 Mashup: Mixes copied material from multiple sources
#8 404 Error: Includes citations to non-existent or inaccurate information about sources
#9 Aggregator: Includes proper citation to sources but the paper contains almost no original work
#10 Re-Tweet: Includes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text's original wording and/or structure
For examples, please see the source material from Turnitin.com.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines plagiarizing as committing “literary theft.” Plagiarism is presenting another person’s ideas, information, expressions, or entire work as one’s own. It is thus a kind of fraud: deceiving others to gain something of value. While plagiarism only sometimes has legal repercussions (e.g., when it involves copyright infringement—violating an author’s exclusive legal right to publication), it is always a serious moral and ethical offense.
Is it possible to plagiarize yourself? Yes, it is. If you reuse ideas or phrases that you used in prior work and do not cite the prior work, you have plagiarized. Many academic honesty policies prohibit the reuse of one’s prior work, even with a citation. If you want to reuse your work, consult with your instructor.
Avoiding plagiarism begins with being scrupulous in your research and note-taking. Keep a complete and thorough list of all the sources that you discover during your research and wish to use, linking each source to the information you glean from it, so that you can double-check that your work acknowledges it. Take care in your notes to distinguish between what is not yours and what is yours, identifying ideas and phrases copied from sources you consult, summaries of your sources, and your own original ideas. As you write, carefully identify all borrowed material, including quoted words and phrases, paraphrased ideas, summarized arguments, and facts and other information.
Most important is that you check with your instructor if you are unsure about the way that you are using a particular source.