Plagiarism is using someone else's work without giving them credit, leading your readers to think those words are yours.
While this might seem easy to avoid, many people who plagiarize do so unintentionally. Although most people think of plagiarism as recording someone's exact words without crediting them, it also includes re-arranging someone else's words (paraphrasing) or using their ideas without proper attribution. These forms of plagiarism are more common and require careful attention to avoid.
Cultural differences concerning academic integrity can vary, so please read through this page to understand the expectations and policies for academic integrity here at the University of Illinois so you can ensure you do not commit an infraction accidentally.
To avoid plagiarism, always cite your sources! This means clearly noting whose words or ideas your are referencing in your own work. This box will walk you through when and why to cite. For citation resources including software to help you manage your citations and style guides to help you format citations accurately and appropriately, make sure to check out the next page of this guide!
When you aren't sure if you should be citing a source, make sure to ask your professor or at the reference desk. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
There are several important reasons to cite:
Citation and proper attribution shows respect for the work and ideas of others and is an essential part of making sure you are contributing to the scholarly conversation in an honest, responsible way.
To learn more about Academic Integrity policies and expectations at the University of Illinois consult the Student Code (linked below). You can also check out the Quick Reference Guide from the Office of the Provost to learn about the process and procedures for handling accusations of academic dishonesty.
If you are still concerned that you don't fully understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, check out the resources below to read more and test your knowledge.
Remember that if you have a specific question about your own work, you can always reach out to your instructor, a librarian, or the Writers Workshop for clarification.