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Research Guides

Avoiding Plagiarism: Home

About this Guide

Academic integrity is one of the cornerstone values of the University of Idaho. The University of Idaho has specific expectations described in the Student Code of Conduct. Practicing academic honesty and integrity in your writing and research involves making every effort to acknowledge your sources fully and appropriately. This guide offers resources for ethical use of source materials in your writing.
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Help Avoiding Plagiarism

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In a research paper, you have to use your own ideas while referring to work that's been done by others. How do you integrate sources in your paper? Confusion can lead to accidental plagiarism. Know the facts!

What is Plagiarism?

To plagiarize is to use someone's else's work as your own, without giving credit to the person. This definition of plagiarism comes from the University of Idaho Student Code of Conduct.

"Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1) using, by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment;
2) using materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials without prior authorization by the instructor."

Source: UI Student Code of Conduct, Article 2, Section A-1, Academic Dishonesty

Deliberate plagiarism is a serious offense. Consequences of plagiarism at the University of Idaho can include:

 . . . the instructor may ask you to rewrite the paper, using correct forms of documentation.
 . . . the instructor is empowered by the university to give you a failing grade in the course. In addition, a file may be established with the Dean of Students to record the incident..

Source: UI Policy, Regulation O-2 (Academic Performance)

Plagiarism can be a deliberate (downloading or purchasing pre-written essays) or accidental (such as assuming that if it's online, you don’t need to give credit). Avoid plagiarizing by citing your sources! If it isn’t your idea, give credit to the person who came up with that idea! Always cite when you:

  • Use another person’s idea, opinion. (If you use someone’s idea but put it into your own words, you still have to give them credit.)
  • Refer to information that is not considered common knowledge. (Common Knowledge means facts that are generally known by most people.)
  • Use another person’s actual words. (That’s called a direct quote, and you must give credit to the person who said it.)
  • Paraphrase another person’s spoken or written words.

When you research a topic you may use information from articles, books, or the Web to support your ideas. Practicing academic integrity in your writing means that you give credit to the original authors of these sources by citing them.

To cite means that you state where you found the information so that others can find the exact item again. In this way we build upon the ideas and knowledge of other people.

Research Paper Help

Need help getting started researching and writing your paper? Choose in-person at the UI Writing Center or online through the library's research guides.

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