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Avoiding Plagiarism: Home

How to Avoid Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

According to JCU Academic Policies, plagiarism is any use of another's ideas, words, or created product without crediting the source.

The MLA Handbook states that using another person's ideas, information, or expressions without acknowledging that person's work constitutes intellectual theft. Passing off another person's ideas, information, or expressions as your own to get a better grade or gain some other advantage constitutes fraud.


How to Avoid It

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use:

  • another person's idea, opinion, or theory

  • any piece of information that is not common knowledge

  • quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words

  • a paraphrase of another person's spoken or written words


More tips for avoiding plagiarism:

  • Put in quotations everything that comes directly from the text, and be sure to write down the words exactly as they are written.

  • Paraphrase, but be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words.

  • Cite every piece of information that is not the result of your own research, or common knowledge. When in doubt, if a source is to be cited, cite it.