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This guide is meant to raise awareness of plagiarism and help students prevent both intentional and unintentional plagiarism.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism can be intentional or accidental.  Regardless of whether the student had the intent to commit plagiarism or did so accidentally, it is still regarded as a serious offense that could have negative consequences on a students', or staff members' adademic career.                           

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to "plagiarize" means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source


In its Academic Honesty Policy, The University of Central Missouri defines plagiarism as:

"Plagiarism - Plagiarism is defined as the borrowing of ideas, opinions, examples, key words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or even structure from another person's work, including work written or produced by others without proper acknowledgment. "Work" is defined as theses, drafts, completed essays, examinations, quizzes, projects, assignments, presentations, or any other form of communication, be it on the Internet or in any other medium or media. "Proper acknowledgment" is defined as the use of quotation marks or indenting plus documentation for directly quoted work and specific, clearly articulated citation for paraphrased or otherwise borrowed material." 

Materials to help you understand "What is Plagiarism?"

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