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Avoiding Plagiarism

A guide that explains what plagiarism is and when to cite sources

Plagiarism Explained

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you use someone else's words or ideas without giving them credit. 

How do you avoid plagiarism?

Whenever you use the words or ideas of someone else you must cite where you got that information from. If you are directly quoting someone, you must use quotation marks, as well. Note that even when you paraphrase what someone else said (or wrote), you must still cite that person because you are using their ideas. 

So when don't you have to cite?

  • When you are stating common knowledge. (Example: The English alphabet contains 26 letters.)
  • When you are stating your own thoughts and ideas.

When in doubt, cite it! 

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