Skip to main content

Lowther Hall Nora Collisson Centre (Library): Plagiarism - how to avoid it!

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as your own. The following are all examples of plagiarism:

  • Quoting or paraphrasing material without citing the source of that material. Sources can include Web sites, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, journals, TV and radio programs, movies and videos, photographs and drawings, charts and graphs; any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Quoting a source without using quotation marks -- even if you do cite it.
  • Buying a paper online or downloading a paper from a free site.
  • Copying or using work done by another student.
  • Citing sources you didn't use.
  • Turning in the same paper for more than one class without the permission of both teachers.

(Source: Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism)

How to spot plagiarism in your work

(CC BY NC SA via EasyBib)

Video: Avoiding Plagiarism: Bibliographies

Most of us always try to abide by the law. But did you know that just by submitting a research report, you could be committing a crime? That is, if you have used the work or intellectual property of others without acknowledging it. Plagiarism is theft and it has serious consequences in schools and workplaces alike. The good news is that it’s not hard to research ethically and compile a bibliography that cites the work of others and strengthens your own!

Production Year: 2018

Duration: 4:48

Real life plagiarism

Celebrities can also be guilty of plagiarism! Here are a few famous examples:

  • In 2016 Melania Trump gave a speech that was suspiciously similar to a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama.
  • Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had to pay $7.3 million to Marvin Gaye's estate after they were found guilty of plagiarising one of his songs.
  • Even Beyoncé has been accused of plagiarism - a number of her videos, including "Countdown" and "Lemonade", have been subject to plagiarism allegations.

Books in the NCC

Useful links

You Quote It, You Note It! – This interactive online tutorial explains the differences between paraphrasing, quoting and plagiarism (and also provides some useful research tips).

Common Knowledge & Plagiarism - How do you know what counts as common knowledge?

Best Practices to Avoid Plagiarism - Practical tips on how to avoid accidental plagiarism.