“Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s ideas or words as your own.” (The Little, Brown Handbook, 1992: 578.)

“An obvious form of plagiarism is copying any direct quotation from your source material without providing quotation marks and without crediting the source. A more subtle form, but equally improper, is the paraphrasing of material or use of an original idea if that paraphrase or borrowed idea is not properly introduced and documented” (Lester, 1976: 48).

“One area that can be confusing to researchers involves the use of information classified as ‘common knowledge’. If a fact or an idea is well known, it does not have to be documented, even if it is taken from another source … to be considered common knowledge, information must be well known to a general audience.” (Clines and Cobb, 1993: 20)





Why We don’t plagiarize

1. It is misleading and perhaps dishonest to present the work of your colleagues as your own.

2. It is unfair not to acknowledge your colleagues for the work they have done.

3. Readers will be inclined to think you are far more intelligent and creative than you actually are.


How to avoid plagiarism

From Lester, James D. (1976). Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide

1. Acknowledge borrowed material within the text by introducing the quotation or paraphrase with the name of the authority from whom it was taken.

2. Enclose within quotation marks all quoted materials.

3. Make certain that paraphrased material is written in your own style and language. The simple rearrangement of sentence patterns is unacceptable.


More on plagiasism

  • Fowler, H. Ramsey and Jane E. Aaron (1992). The Little, Brown Handbook (5th Edition) Harper Collins (Chapter 36c)
  • Lester, James D. (1976) Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide (2nd  Edition). Scott, Foresman and Company, Glenview, Illinois. (Avoiding Plagiarism, page 48-51) AIT Library Call Number: LB2369 L4 1976 c. 2
  • Pennycook, Alastair  (1994) The Complex Contexts of Plagiarism: A Reply to Deckert. Journal of Second Language Writing, 3(3), 277-284
  • Pennycook, Alastair  (1996) Borrowing other people’s words: text, ownership, memory and plagiarism. TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 201-230
  • Clines, Raymond H. and Elizabeth R. Cobb (1993) Research Writing Simplified. Harper Collins, (Avoiding Plagiarism, p. 20).