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Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgment of the source.

If you don't credit the author, you are committing a type of theft called plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty (or, essentially, cheating).

When you work on a research paper you will probably find supporting material for your paper from works by others. It's okay to use the ideas of other people, but you do need to credit them correctly.

When you quote people - or even when you summarize or paraphrase information found in books, articles, websites, or other information sources - you must acknowledge the original author by providing a citation for the source.

It is plagiarism when you:

  • buy or use a term paper written by someone else

  • use the words or ideas of another person without citing that person

  • paraphrase a person's words without citing that person

  • cut and paste passages from the Web, a book, or an article and insert them into your paper without citing the source

Warning! It is now easy to search for and find passages that have been copied from the Web by using any number of anti-plagiarism software. TCNJ faculty members can, with just a few mouse clicks, check any submitted paper for plagiarism using an automated system. There are very serious penalties for plagiarism and other cases of academic dishonesty. Take a look at TCNJ's Academic Integrity Policy.

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