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Cite and Write

Recognizing Plagiarism


Plagiarism is when you represent someone else's work and ideas as your own. It can be both accidental and intentional.

This includes:

  • copying and pasting exact phrases without adding quotation marks AND a citation
  • using someone else's text with non-substantive alterations (changing word order, replacing words with synonyms, grammatical changes), even if you cite it!
  • not including a citation for an idea or concept from someone else's work
  • putting your name as author on anything you did not write

Citing your sources is the best way to avoid plagiarism.

When Do I Cite?


Cite when:

  • You use a distinctive phrase from an author's work.
  • You are using someone else's idea.
  • You paraphrased a concept - the words are yours, but the concept is still the author's.
    • Paraphrasing goes beyond replacing each word in a sentence - change the sentence structure. Try expressing the idea in your own words without looking at the original source.

You don't need to cite common knowledge. When you are in doubt, cite!

More Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism


Short video from University of Canterbury Library that defines academic plagiarism and common mistakes students make that can lead to plagiarism.

Avoid plagiarism in research papers with paraphrases & quotations.