Against Plagiarism

in academic writing

Give credit to the source and be honest

Many students mistakenly think that by changing a few words, they make the writing theirs, and then they "own" it. Wrong! That is plagiarism.

In many academic programs, it will cause you to fail the course. As a professional writer, it would allow you to be sued. As a working journalist, it could get you fired.

Consider this example, which is NOT plagiarized:

Gender is not always unknown, as Poster (1995) observed: "Some aspects of the Internet, such as electronic mail between individuals who know each other, may introduce no strong disruption of the gender system. In this case, the cyborg individual does not overtake or displace the embodied individual, though even here studies have shown some differences in self-presentation (more spontaneity and less guardedness)."

Please take note of the use of quotation marks to indicate what was copied.

In your reference list or footnotes, you must also provide complete information about the source of that copied text:

Poster, M. (1995). CyberDemocracy: Internet and the public sphere. Retrieved August 25, 2003, from

That use of the copied material is fair and honest. No plagiarism was committed, because the quotation marks and the citation together make it clear that the words belong to another writer.