Answered By: Dan Gall
Last Updated: Jan 03, 2017     Views: 99

Officially, plagiarism is governed by each UI college and the Center for Teaching has excellent information on academic integrity. The UIOWA libraries’ Copyright guide provides guidelines and defines plagiarism as,

“…presenting another person's written or spoken words or ideas as your own.”

More useful, I think, is a philosophy to help you decide when and how to give credit for other people’s ideas. Regardless of the intricacies of APA or other citation styles, let your readers know which ideas are yours and which come from another source. The style guides merely give you a framework for that. There is no shame in using someone else’s ideas – the shame is in claiming those ideas are your own.

  • As you write your paper and set down your ideas, keep in mind where your support comes from.
  • Every time you use an idea from someone else, whether you are quoting directly or expressing that thought in your own words, mention who or where the thought came from.
  • Every time you mention someone else’s thought, follow the guidelines of whatever citation style you are using to direct your readers to that original thought.

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