What Is It?
Plagiarism is defined as presenting words and/or ideas from an existing source as if they were your own words
and/or ideas. Plagiarism is essentially stealing! Plagiarism can occur if you copy directly from a source without
using quotation marks or without acknowledging whose words they are. Also, plagiarism can occur if you use
words and ideas from a source that is not common knowledge and forget to include an in-text citation and
documentation on the works cited page.
How to Avoid It
1. Record information for your works cited page as you find sources!
2. Take thorough notes and record sources – their authors and their pages numbers – as you go.
3. Put notes in your own words.
4. When paraphrasing, put a majority of the author’s words in your own words.
5. When quoting, use quotation marks.
6. Make sure anything that is not common knowledge has an in-text citation.
Ask yourself two questions when deciding whether or not to cite particular information.
1. Is the information not common knowledge or does the wording belong to someone else?
2. Would the information appear more credible if I cite it?
Directions: Indicate whether or not a writer should give credit to a particular source for the statements below. Circle yes if it needs a citation and no if it doesn’t.
yes no 1. In the aftermath of tornadoes, hurricanes, and tsunamis, mankind often rises to the occasion donating time and offering money to help those in crisis.
yes no 2. In 1994 during the Rwandan genocide, a civil war spanning half a century between the Hutu and the Tutsi people culminated in a mass killing spree; an attempt to exterminate the Tutsi race. The bloodshed lasted only 100 days and the United Nations estimate about 800,000 people died, but according to Rwandan government statistics, more than 1 million lives were lost.
yes no 3. In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in presentdayOklahoma. Over 4,000 of 15,000 of the Cherokees died on the Trail of Tears.
yes no 4. Individuals often display charity and altruism even towards strangers.
yes no 5. Harry Bradford of The Huffington Post lists numerous acts of gun violence committed within months stating, “On Friday, December 14, a gunman entered an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and shot and killed 26 people including 20 children. Earlier that same week, an Oregon man shot three people at a shopping mall before taking his own life. A few months before that, a gunman entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and left having taken 12 lives.”
yes no 6. Throughout recorded history, the world has been at war more than it has ever been at peace.
yes no 7. Horrible events occur in the world every day. An unstable mother takes the lives of her children before taking her own. Religious wars rage on in the Middle East. Modern day dictators oppress their fellow countrymen. Perhaps mental illness can be blamed, or intolerance, or the need for power. There will always be evil in the world unless good people do something to stop it.
yes no 8. “They love me. All my people with me, they love me,” dictator Muammar Qaddafi once said, “They will die to protect me, my people.”