What is it?
When you use another person's ideas, opinion, or words as your own you have committed an act of plagiarism. According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 11th edition, plagiarize is:
"to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (another's production) without crediting the source: to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source."
The definitions at the left are direct quotes from Merriam-Webster's dictionary. To avoid plagiarism, the definitions are placed in quotation marks and documented so that the reader is able to find the original source.
plagiarize. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, (11th edition). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize
Whether intentional or not, plagiarism is not tolerated. To familiarize yourself with the University's
policy on plagiarism see the 2013-2014 Catalog. PDF | FLASH
"Plagiarism is the inappropriate use of others' ideas or information, such as using sources without citations or direct
quotes without quotation marks. Even paraphrasing or summarizing without giving credit to the original author is considered plagiarism." (page
11, "Honor Code Living")
"Written assignments using sources must demonstrate ethical and accurate use of source material. Plagiarism and any unethical or inappropriate use
of sources are not tolerated." (page
31, "Writing Across the Curriculum")
Examples of Plagiarism
- Quoting from a source (oral or written) without proper use of quotation marks and/or a citation.
- Paraphrasing information from a source (oral or written) without acknowledging the author and their work.
- Summarizing an author's works or opinions in your paper without documentation.
- Buying or copying a paper or project from another person and submitting it as your own work.
- Downloading or copying a paper, or section thereof, from the Internet and submitting it for class.
The best way to avoid plagiarism is to carefully cite your sources. There are a number of ways to cite information
sources so always use the style manual recommended by your professor. Frequently used citation styles at ORU include:
- APA (American Psychological Association)
- MLA (Modern Language Association)
- Turabian and SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) used for theology papers.
See: Citing and Documenting Sources for helpful information on writing citations.