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How to Avoid Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism

Learn how to avoid plagiarism and self-plagiarism, including how to identify plagiarism and self-plagiarism, understand their risks and consequences, cite sources properly, and develop sound writing practices.

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What Is Plagiarism?

  • Using the words, ideas, or images without giving credit to the author or creator of the content. Doing this implies that what you are presenting is your original work. 
  • Deliberate or unintentional, plagiarism violates ethical standards in scholarship (see APA Ethics Code Standard 8.11, Plagiarism).

Categories of Plagiarism

  • Intentional plagiarism: Presenting someone else’s words or ideas as your own. 
  • Unintentional plagiarism: The accidental use of another work often due to using incorrect citations or not understanding how to properly cite the information.

Common Types of Plagiarism

Direct Plagiarism: Copying someone else's work word for word and claiming it as your own.

Mosaic Plagiarism: Often referred to as "patchwriting" and occurs when the writer changes words or phrases within a passage but leaves the overall content the same without using quotes. This type of plagiarism might contain a proper citation but is too close to the original words or structure.

Self-Plagiarism: This occurs when a student uses all or part of previously submitted work without permission from their faculty. Using the same paper in multiple classes may violate the academic integrity policy of the university. Students who wish to build from previously submitted work should first discuss their ideas with their faculty. 

After receiving permission to use previously submitted work, please be sure to cite and reference the information so that readers are aware. 

  • In-Text Citation Example:

    •  As discussed in my previous work (Smith, 2020) I found ...

  • Reference Examples: 

    • Blackwell, E., & Conrod, P. J. (2003). A five-dimensional measure of drinking motives [Unpublished manuscript]. Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia. 

    • Elkington, A. (2016). Large-scale project development: 2016 analysis [Unpublished manuscript].

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