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*Biology: Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism: How to avoid it

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the use of another person's work, facts or ideas without acknowledging the source.

Examples of overt plagiarism, as cited in the McDaniel College Handbook:

  • Buying a prepared paper
  • Taking a paper or speech from an organization's file
  • Borrowing or stealing a paper from another student and submitting that work as one's own
  • Copying whole sections or chapters from reference works

Plagiarism doesn't always happen in such overt ways. It often happens because someone inadvertently or incorrectly uses a source without providing acknowledgement.

*Examples include:

  • Copying and pasting text from a website
  • Copying and pasting a chart from a website
  • Copying material from books and magazines
  • Copying someone's spoken words
  • Copying a unique or distinctive phrase
  • Changing the wording of an article slightly (for example, changing "TV" to "television") and not citing the source
  • Taking another person's ideas and presenting them as your own
  • Including artwork or music in a project without getting permission or citing the course

*Taken from the University of Texas Arlington's online Plagiarism tutorial at

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