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What is Plagiarism?

When you’re doing research, it is not always easy to tell how much of other sources to incorporate into your work. The main thing to keep in mind is that you must give credit where credit is due. When you use someone else’s words or ideas without citing them as your source, it’s called plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a form of stealing, since you’re trying to pass off another person’s hard work as your own. When in doubt, make sure you cite all of your sources, even if you didn’t quote them word-for-word. Taking someone else’s ideas without giving them credit is still plagiarism.

Most people don’t take plagiarism lightly. The consequences can be severe. If your work is shown to be stolen while you’re in school, you could receive a failing grade or even be expelled. If you are caught plagiarising something that you’ve published, you could be sued for intellectual property theft. Either way, the negative effects it will have on your personal and professional reputation are almost irreversible.  

Last Updated: September 24, 2015

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