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Information Literacy Modules: Plagiarism

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and does not represent work attributable to others as his/her own.



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Plagiarism is presenting ideas and words as your own when they do not actually belong to you- or, stealing ideas.

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SJR State POLICY ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY. The pursuit of scholarly activity, free from dishonesty, fraud, or deception, is essential to the mission of the college and to the full exercise of academic freedom. Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information or citations, and other forms of unethical conduct compromise the quality of education and will not be tolerated. Infractions may result in penalties or sanctions beyond those imposed by an individual faculty member. Academic work submitted by a student to his instructor is assumed to be the result of his or her own thought, research, or self-expression. Further, when a student borrows ideas, workings, or organizations from another source, he is expected to acknowledge that fact in an appropriate manner. Any student who is believed to be guilty of cheating or plagiarism will be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs/ Assistant General Counsel for disciplinary action. Those actions which are considered cheating, plagiarism, or academic dishonesty are defined in the Student Handbook.

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Documentation. Giving credit to a source that you use in your assignments through quotations, summaries, paraphrases by citing the source.  Citation styles, MLA- Modern Language Association (Composition).  APA- American Psychological Association (Psychology). Chicago Manual of Style (History).

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When to Give Credit.  When you use an idea from someone else’s work- even if you don’t use a direct quote. Cite anything that is not a common fact.	 When you directly quote a work. When you paraphrase a work, or take their idea and put it in your own words. It’s better to be safe than sorry- if it feels like plagiarism than it probably is! Cite it!

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Documentation also.  Shows your readers where your information is coming from so that they can review the sources you used.  Gives your ideas and work authority. You are providing ideas from experts in the field that support your work!

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Specific Examples. Cutting and pasting content from another source (article, website) to your paper.  Using an assignment written by someone else (whether you know them or not) and submitting it as your own.  Using an assignment done for one class for another (without the permission of the instructors). Improper paraphrasing: having an attributed idea be worded too similarly to its original work.	 Not giving credit to the person with the original idea. Not citing a source in the body of a paper and including the source in the bibliography.

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Rules of Paraphrasing. Put the text in your own words. Avoid copying the text. Rearrange similar text. Ask yourself if you included all the important points

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Your Assignments. When your instructors give you assignments they will normally tell you which citation style to use.  If you cannot find that information on your assignment it is best to consult with your instructor before proceeding.  You will need to know what citation style you are using while conducting research.

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SJR State Library Citation Help. MySJRstate-Library Tab, Cite Your Sources. Citation Workshops, (MLA, APA, Chicago.) Academic Support Center.

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Turnitin. Online originality checking service used by instructors. Many SJR State instructors use this service. Student uploads written assignment and it is checked by the service, a report is provided to the instructor.

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Plagiarism: How to avoid it- Bainbridge State College Bainbridge State College


Quiz Time!

1. Plagiarism is:

2. Name a tool that instructors use to identify plagiarism:

3. A student may face punishment if caught plagiarizing.

4. Where can a student get assistance with citations to avoid plagiarizing?





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