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Citing Sources

Intentional Plagiarism

Intentional plagiarism is knowingly presenting someone else's ideas, research, or words as your own. These are all examples of cheating, and these types of plagiarism carry very serious repercussions:

  • Copying/downloading/buying an entire paper or part of a paper that was written by someone else, and turning it in with your name on it is plagiarism.
  • Intentionally not giving proper credit for a source: Intentionally incorporating someone else's concepts or words into your own paper without giving that person credit with an appropriate citation is plagiarism.
  • Self-plagiarism: Re-using a paper or research for more than one class or assignment when original work is expected is also inappropriate.

Did you know that there are dozens of simple software programs, services, and web sites that allow instructors to detect plagiarism in student papers? It is also very easy to find plagiarized material by merely doing a Google search for a phrase or paragraph.  Every person has his or her own writing style, too, and it will be quite apparent to your instructor if you suddenly turn in something that sounds very different from your other assignments. It will also be quite evident if portions of your paper do not match your own writing style. If you incorporate passages from another author, you must give the real author credit.

Quite simply, don't do it! Holy Family University expects original work from all students. If you do not understand how to complete your assignment correctly, ask for help! Remember, this is a learning process, and there are many resources available to help you along the way. See our Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

Unintentional Plagiarism

Unintentional plagiarism is not giving proper credit for someone else's ideas, research, or words, even if it was not intentional to present them as your own. Even if it was not intentional, it is still plagiarism and not acceptable.

  • Accidentally failing to cite your sources correctly. Some students may plagiarize accidentally by failing to cite their sources correctly. If you are not sure how to correctly cite your sources, use the examples in this guide, or ask for help.
  • ‚ÄčNot citing paraphrased information. Some students believe that it is necessary to cite a source only if they use a direct quote. Not true! Putting someone else's idea into your own words does not turn it into your own work. You must give the original author credit even when you paraphrase. Paraphrasing well shows that you understand the meaning of the original passage.
  • Incorrectly paraphrasing. Your paraphrase must be sufficiently distinct from the original passage. Paraphrasing is not simply changing a word or two or rearranging the author's sentences (you might as well use the original passage in quotation marks). An effective paraphrase will convey the author's facts or conclusions accurately but in your own unique style. Learn more about paraphrasing from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.
  • Unintentionally using a "source" from the web, which is actually someone else's research paper (possibly posted so others may use it for cheating). Be very cautious when researching on the web. Aside from websites with questionable content, you may encounter documents that appear scholarly but aren't. Check thoroughly for the source of the document--could it be another student's research paper? Or a paper posted by a "paper mill"--a site that sells research papers for the purpose of cheating? These are not scholarly sources and should be avoided. Learn more about Evaluating Sources on the Web.

No one expects you to know all of the rules instantly. Use the examples in this guide as a starting point. If you are unsure about anything, ask for help!

Why Does Plagiarism Happen?

Plagiarism is a form of cheating and is unacceptable at Holy Family University. Why would students ever take risks associated with plagiarism?

  • Procrastination/poor time management
  • Lack of confidence/lack of knowledge about how to begin or follow through with an assignment
  • Confusion as to when/how to cite sources
  • The mistaken belief that it's not plagiarism if a source has been paraphrased
  • The temptation of readily available material on the Web

Don't let this happen to you. Ask for help or see our Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism.

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