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Good Learning Versus Plagiarism


Plagiarism and cheating on coursework are two major categories of failing to act with academic integrity.

--adapted from Plagiarism Resource Site

Barriers to Integrity

Most people do not deliberately commit plagiarism. Usually, it results from:

  • Procrastination It is important to set aside adequate time to complete your assignment. When using sources, you should get in the habit of citing them in full as you write. Filling in page numbers, making footnotes, or making a works cited page or bibliography after you have finished writing often leads to inadvertent mis-citations or omissions. (See Time Management)
  • Incomplete understanding of original material: Avoid using any source with which you are not completely comfortable. As a general rule, if you cannot restate the main idea of a passage in your own words without referring to the original source, then you should not use this source for your own work until you have read it more deeply. (See Deep Reading and Note Taking)
  • Poor note-taking: Inexperienced students often forget to put quotation marks around notes taken directly from text, or find that their notes are disorganized. As a result, they cannot tell which notes came from which source when they are in the stages of writing up their assignment. (See Deep Reading and Note Taking)
  • Citation Errors: Common errors that lead to accidental plagiarism include: using words or passages from the original source without using quotation marks and/or without citing the source; using different citation formats within the same assignment; or using a citation format incorrectly. (See Correct Citations)

--adapted from Plagiarism Resource Site

Note about Types and Examples of Plagiarism

There are a number of typologies and classification schemes for the many ways that plagiarism can happen.  As in many cases of integrity, clear cut rules will not always give guidance in any particular situation. For a student in doubt, it is always better to talk with your instructor than not, and better to give credit than not.

You will find it helpful to review one or more of the following resources that try to make plagiarism something that is concrete and apparent.

Examples and Patterns of Plagiarism

These two links are part of a larger tutorial developed by faculty at the School of Education, Indiana University.

Identifying Plagiarism

Plagiarism 2.0 (link to segments)

Plagiarism 2.0: Information Ethics in the Digital Age is a 22 minute video in seven segments. Visiting this Portal will give you full options on how you might want to use the video.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.Please direct questions and enquiries to Parts of this work refer to the "Plagiarism Resource Site" and are reused or adapted under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 License from that project at Colby, Bates andBowdoin Colleges. Questions and enquiries about the CBB project may be directed to

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