This is the "What is Plagiarism" page of the "Plagiarism" guide.
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Last Updated: Sep 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

What is Plagiarism Print Page

Ways to plagiarize


Copying a phrase or passage word for word without using quotation marks.


Rephrasing another writer's work and inserting your own words without citing the original writer.


Mixing words/ideas from an unacknowledged source with your words and or ideas.

Mixing uncited words or ideas from several sources in a single work.

Insufficient Acknowledgement:

Acknowledging the source of the information at some places but not all the places the source was used.

Quoting someone inaccurately


Using your own words and ideas from priviously written papers without citing yourself.



    Detecting Plagiarism

    Below are ways plagiarism may be detected.

    The writing style and language are above the level that the student usually writies.

    Jargon and specialized terminology that is not normally used by the student is used.

    The quality of writing is inconsistent.

    The paper contains references to citations that are not included in the reference list.

    The reference list is inaccurate or incomplete.


    What is plagiarism?

    "To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use

    (another's production) without crediting the source."

    plagiarism. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved

    November 8, 2011.


    Plagiarism as defined in the WGTC Student Handbook 

    Student Handbook 2011‐2012. July 1, 2011 , page 22.

    1. Submitting another’s published or unpublished work in whole, in part or in paraphrase, as

    one’s own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, quotation

    marks, citations, or bibliographical reference.

    2. Submitting as one’s own original work, material obtained from an individual or agency

    without reference to the person or agency as the source of the material.

    3. Submitting as one’s own original work material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators.



    Consequences of plagiarism at WGTC 

    Any student, acting individually or in

    concert with others, who violates any part of the student conduct code shall be subject to

    disciplinary procedures, including dismissal from a class session by the instructor and/or

    suspension or expulsion by the President or designee. Additional rules or regulations may be

    initiated under established procedures during the year and, if approved, will become effective as

    part of the official code at the time of inclusion. 


      Plagiarism Myths

      Plagiarism myths and mis-information

      Myth:   Everything on the Internet is Public Domain, and I can take it and use it anyway I want.

          Fact:  Some information but not all information on the Internet is in the Public Domain (not protected by patent or copyright laws).  If someone other than you created the ideas, sounds, art, words, etc. it is plagiarism if you do not cite the information appropriately.


      Myth:  I can just put the information in my own words, and that is not copying or plagiarism---I paraphrased.

           Fact:  Paraphrased (putting into you own words) information must be cited, or it is plagiarism.


      Myth:  I can change a few words in the information and it becomes mine.

            Fact:  You may change a few words, but that does not make you the creator of the material.  The information must be cited.


      Myth:  Only my instructors care if I plagiarize.

            Fact:   Plagiarism is stealing and is against the law and the student conduct code of this college; therefore it is taken seriously by the college.


      Myth:  My girlfriend wrote a paper last semester and gave it to me to use this semester, so now I own it.

            Fact.  The paper is your girlfriend's intellectual property, and for you to pass it off as yours is fraud and plagiarism.



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