WHAT IS PLAGIARISM? • “THE ACT OF APPROPRIATING THE LITERARY COMPOSITION OF ANOTHER, OR PARTS OR PASSAGES OF HIS WRITING, OR THE IDEAS OR LANGUAGE OF THE SAME, AND PASSING THEM OFF AS THE PRODUCTS OF ONE’S OWN MIND.” BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY (5th ED. 1979) • TO PLAGIARIZE IS “TO USE AND PASS OFF AS ONE’S OWN THE IDEAS OR WRITINGS OF ANOTHER.” AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (3d ED. 1992)
FROM THE MLA HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS OF RESEARCH PAPERS: “Derived from the Latin word plagiarius(“kidnapper”), plagiarism refers to a form of cheating that has been defined as . . . ‘taking the product of another’s mind and presenting it as one’s own.’ [citation omitted] Plagiarism involves two kinds of wrongs. (cont’d next slide)
Using another person’s ideas, information, or expressions without acknowledging that person’s work constitutes intellectual theft. Passing off another person’s ideas, information, or expressions as your own to get a better grade or gain some other advantage constitutes fraud.” Gibaldi, Joseph, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers§ 2.1 (6th ed. 2003)(emphasis added).
PLAGIARISM IS • THEFT IT IS STEALING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY • FRAUD IT IS AN INTENTIONAL MISREPRESENTATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF DECEIVING OTHERS
AT PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND AT UNIVERSITIES: FAILURE AND EXPULSION • IN MY CLASS: ZERO (DOUBLE F) FOR THE ASSIGNMENT • LOSS OF THE RESPECT OF OTHER PEOPLE IN THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY • SUSPICION THAT OTHER GOOD WORK YOU DO IS PLAGIARIZED
AND PLAGIARISTS CHEAT THEMSELVES: • THEY DESTROY THEIR REPUTATIONS • THEY DEPRIVE THEMSELVES OF LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES • STUDENTS LEARN BY DOING ASSIGNED WORK. THEY DO NOT LEARN ANYTHING BY STEALING OTHER PEOPLES’ WORK EXCEPT HOW TO BE THIEVES.
AVOIDING PLAGIARISM IT’S EASY!JUST BE SURE TO CITE ALL SOURCES ON WHICH YOU RELY!
EXAMPLES: SUPPOSE I WAS WRITING A PAPER ON JULIUS CAESAR’S CONQUEST OF GAUL.
In The Gallic Wars [Commentarii de Bello Gallico], Caesar wrote: “All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in our Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws.”
Suppose I write: All Gaul was divided into three parts, one of which the Belgians inhabited, the Occitans another, and those who in their own language were called Celts and in Latin, Gauls, the third. All these differed from each other language, customs and laws. I WOULD HAVE TAKEN CAESAR’S WORDS
So I would have to put it in quotation marks and cite Caesar, as follows: “All Gaul [was] divided into three parts, one of which the Belgians inhabit[ed], the [Occitans] another, and those who in their language [were] called Celts and [in Latin], Gauls, the third. All these differ[ed] from each other language, customs and laws.1/ 1/ Caesar, Julius, The Gallic Wars, Trans. W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn (1869),http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.1.1.html Note: when changes are made within quotations, they are bracketed 
Suppose I changed the wording so I did not take Caesar’s language, and instead wrote:
There were three distinct regions in ancient Gaul, each inhabited by different people with differing languages, customs and laws. In one, the Belgians lives. In another, the Occitans. And in the third, Celts, whom the Romans called “Gauls.” I WOULD HAVE TAKEN CAESAR’S IDEAS
REMEMBER: PLAGIARISM INCLUDES BOTH THEFT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S WORDS AND THEFT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S IDEAS.
IF YOU USE SOMEONE ELSE’S WORDS, YOU MUST PUT THEM IN QUOTATION MARKS AND CITE THE AUTHOR AND WORK. IF YOU USE SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEAS, YOU MUST CITE THE AUTHOR AND WORK.
N.B. IN ACADEMIC WRITING, IF YOU WRITE SOMETHING OF WHICH YOU DO NOT HAVE FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE, OR IS NOT COMMON KNOWLEDGE, YOU MUST CITE ONE OR MORE SOURCES FOR IT OR PROVE IT INDEPENDENTLY. OTHERWISE IT IS MERE UNSUPPORTED OPINION.
EXAMPLE: IF I WROTE: JULIUS CAESAR WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST GENERALS OF ALL TIME.
THAT WOULD BE UNSUPPORTED OPINION UNLESS • I KNEW IT FIRST-HAND; • I CITED AUTHORITATIVE SOURCES SAYING CAESAR WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST GENERALS; OR • I PROVED IT BY WRITING A COMPARISON OF HIS CAMPAIGNS TO THOSE OF MANY OTHER FAMOUS GENERALS.
SO: STEER CLEAR OF STATEMENTS SUCH AS: LEONARDO DA VINCI WAS THE ONE OF THE GREATEST ARTISTS OF ALL TIME. THE PRINCE WAS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL POLITICAL WORK OF THE RENAISSANCE.