Librarian's Corner

Show/ hide panel show / hide

Interactive Tutorials about Plagiarism

You Quote it, You Note It!
by Vaughn Memorial Library, Acadia University
You Quote it, You Note It! by Vaughn Memorial Library

The Plagiarism Court
by DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Fairfield University
The Plagiarism Court by DiMenna-Nyselius Library

What is it?

When you use another person's ideas, opinion, or words as your own you have committed an act of plagiarism.


The definition at the left, is a direct quote from Merriam-Webster's.
To avoid plagiarism,
the definition is placed in quotation marks and documented so that the reader is able to find the original source.

According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, (2003, p. 946) plagiarize is "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own; use (another's production) without crediting the source; to commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from and existing source."

Whether intentional or not, plagiarism is not tolerated. To familiarize yourself with the University's policy on plagiarism see the 2010-2011 Catalog.

"Plagiarism is the inappropriate use of others' ideas or information, such as using sources without citations or direct quotes without quotation marks. Even paraphrasing or summarizing without giving credit to the original author is considered plagiarism." (page 9, Honor Code Living, pdf)

"Written assignments using sources must demonstrate ethical and accurate use of source material. Plagiarism and any unethical or inappropriate use of sources are not tolerated." (page 29, Writing Across the Curriculum, pdf)

Examples of Plagiarism

  • Quoting from a source (oral or written) without proper use of quotation marks and/or a citation.
  • Paraphrasing information from a source (oral or written) without acknowledging the author and their work.
  • Summarizing an author's works or opinions in your paper without documentation.
  • Buying or copying a paper or project from another person and submitting it as your own work.
  • Downloading or copying a paper, or section thereof, from the Internet and submitting it for class.

Avoiding Plagiarism

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to carefully cite your sources. There are a number of ways to cite information sources so always use the style manual recommended by your professor. Frequently used citation styles at ORU include:

  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Turabian and SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) used for theology papers.

See: Citing and Documenting Sources for helpful information on writing citations.

Related guides:
Citing & Documenting Sources
Key Points: Citation Tools