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Plagiarism: How To Avoid It: What is Plagiarism?

An overview of plagiarism and academic integrity for BSC students.

What Is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, or ideas without giving credit to the original author. Any instance where you fail to give credit to your sources can be considered plagiarism. 


Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. Here are some examples of plagiarism:

X  Submitting someone else's paper with your name on it. 


X  Using exact wording or a quote from a source without citing it.


X  Changing the words around in someone else's sentence and using that sentence without citing it.


X  Submitting a paper you completed for another class.


X  Directly cutting and pasting words, images, or data from the internet into your paper without citing them. 


Read the short chapter on plagiarism below:

"Defining Plagiarism" from Lumen Learning's English Composition I course. 



UDC Library. (2020, October 28). What is plagiarism? [Video]. YouTube.



Did it surprise you to learn that, even if done unintentionally, using someone else's words or ideas without giving credit is considered plagiarism? The best way to avoid unintentionally plagiarizing is to keep track of all the sources you use and cite your sources as you write your paper. If you try to go back and cite everything after you finish writing, you are very likely going to forget where you found the information!

Plagiarism is taken very seriously at Bay State College.

According to the Bay State College Student Handbook, students who are found to have plagiarized may receive a warning or a failing grade on the plagiarized assignment, and students with multiple offenses are subject to dismissal from the College (Bay State College, 2019, p. 8). More information on the  "Academic Integrity Policy" can be found in the course catalog. 


PLEASE NOTE: Some programs at Bay State have different levels of consequences for students who plagiarize. Read your specific program's academic integrity policy for the details. 




The BSC librarians highly recommend you do one (or all!) of the following plagiarism tutorials by these other colleges: 

To prevent plagiarism, you should follow the citation guidelines for your citation style you are expected and follow the suggestions from the Incorporating Sources Ethically guide.  If you are worried that you have not done this correctly, these plagiarism checkers can be a useful resource.  Please note that many have a word limit, unless you have a paid account.