Plagiarism is unethical and has serious repercussions at the university. As the MLA Handbook (8th Edition) reads, “Plagiarism is presenting another person’s ideas, information, expressions, or entire work as one’s own” (6–7). If I hadn’t cited the MLA Handbook just now and had presented the sentence as my own, I would have plagiarized and might have lost my job. This is why citing is important and why professionals place so much emphasis on academic integrity. Below are some pointers on how to avoid plagiarism.
Because plagiarism is the act of claiming another’s intellectual output as your own, plagiarism includes more than not quoting text that ought to be quoted; plagiarism also includes not attributing authorship to ideas that are not originally yours and framing as your own a paper that someone else wrote (even if you paid them). It is also a violation of academic integrity to reuse an essay that you had previously written. The university has a policy forbidding the reuse of previous work without express permission from your instructor.
For more information on your university’s plagiarism policy, check out your student academic handbook.
Plagiarism is hardly ever intended. More often, a student who plagiarizes will be unaware that they are doing so. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid plagiarizing.