Plagiarism: What it is

Plagiarism is a form of cheating and a form of lying. Usually it is a way of trying to complete an assignment without doing all of the necessary work. A writer plagiarizes when he or she turns in a paper that contains passages or important ideas written by someone else and doesn't give credit to the original author.

At Hope, we see a difference between two kinds of plagiarism. The rules and regulations for quoting and citing material in college-level work are fairly complicated, and students new to this work can sometimes make mistakes that technically result in plagiarism. We call this unintentional plagiarism, and although it is serious, almost always professors will give you a chance to remedy the problem and learn from your mistakes. But there's a more serious kind of plagiarism that involves a deliberate lie and an effort to cheat. Intentional plagiarism is a flagrant attempt to take the easy way out of an assignment by presenting a whole paper or parts of one that were written by someone else, and not telling where the material came from.

Here are some examples of intentional plagiarism:

  • Taking paragraphs from articles or books and including them in your paper without providing proper citations.
  • Taking important ideas from sources and including them in your paper as if you thought them up.
  • Cutting and pasting material from the Internet into your paper without citing your sources.
  • Letting someone else (a friend, classmate, parent, etc.) write parts of your paper for you.
  • Buying a paper from a commercial source and submitting it as your own, or taking a paper from a classmate, friend, fraternity or sorority sibling, or anyone else and submitting it as if you wrote it.
  • Submitting drawings, paintings, musical compositions, computer files, or any other kinds of material created originally by someone else, and claiming or implying that you created it yourself.
  • Turning in the same paper for more than one assignment.