Answered By: Berkeley College Library
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2022     Views: 351

The Modern Language Association (MLA) defines plagiarism here:  

Plagiarism is presenting another person’s ideas, words, or entire work as your own. Plagiarism may sometimes have legal repercussions (e.g., when it involves copyright infringement) but is always unethical.

Plagiarism can take a number of forms. Copying a published or unpub­lished text of any length, whether deliberately or accidentally, is plagiarism if you don’t give credit to the source. Paraphrasing someone’s ideas or argu­ments or copying someone’s unique wording without giving proper credit is plagiarism. Turning in a paper or thesis written by someone else, even if you paid for it, is plagiarism.

“Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty.” The MLA Style Center, style.mla.org/plagiarism-and-academic-dishonesty/. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

Plagiarism is considered a serious issue in U.S. colleges & graduate schools. Professors in the U.S. expect students to show where they found the facts and ideas they use in their papers. They want students to make clear what sections of a paper are based on material they read elsewhere, and what parts are their own ideas. That is accomplished by citing the material used in your writing, using the APA or MLA citation format that your instructor requires.

Guidance from the MLA to help you avoid plagiarism is available in The MLA Handbook (9th edition, 2021).

The American Psychological Association (APA) also has an Avoiding Plagiarism Guide (7th ed., 2021). This handout has tips for the best ways to write or cite so you don't inadvertently plagiarize when you are writing a paper.

Berkeley College has a Quotes & Paraphrases Workshop: Using academic sources in your writing from the Center for Academic Success (CAS) in Canvas. This uses an everyday example to help you learn about researching information on a topic and then putting facts and ideas into your own words, while giving credit to the original authors by citing correctly.

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