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How to Research: Avoiding Plagiarism
This guide is intended as a starting place for doing academic research.
Plagiarism is using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to the source.
Common Types of Plagiarism
Direct plagiarism: Directly using words and phrases without quotations or paraphrase and without citing a source. This is academically dishonest and unethical.
Self plagiarism: When a student submits all or part of work he or she created for another class and for which he or she received credit without getting permission from all instructors involved. (This will be flagged in turnitin.com).
Mosaic plagiarism: Occurs when a student takes phrases from a source without using quotation marks and citing the source. This also occurs when a student changes some wording but keeps the original structure of the resource and does not give credit. In addition, paraphrasing is when you take someone's idea and use your own words. This patchwork plagiarism, whether it is intentional or not, is academically dishonest and unethical.
Accidental plagiarism: This occurs when a student forgets to cite a source or paraphrase correctly. Although it is not intentional, the result is still plagiarism. It is a student's responsibility to learn how to paraphrase correctly and how to cite all information used from outside resources.
VideoByCredo. “Plagiarism.” YouTube, 6 June 2014,
Plagiarism - your own words
Leonard Leif Library. “Just Because You Put It In Your Own Words...”
YouTube, Lehman College, 23 Apr. 2014,
When to Cite
If you use any information from any source (print or nonprint, including websites), you must quote or paraphrase that information and cite it. The only exception is for information that is common knowledge. Example: the months of the year or the planets in our solar system.
If you are unsure if it is common knowledge, then you should cite it.
Examples of resources you might use that must be cited: