Understanding Plagiarism

Academic Honesty/Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

In the presentation titled, “Academic Honesty-Principles to Practice”, Dr. Celina Garza defines plagiarism as “… the representation, intentionally or unwittingly, of the ideas, words or work of another person without proper, clear and explicit acknowledgment” (Garza, 2014). Basically, plagiarism is about not not giving credit to someone for their work, whether it’s written text, a photograph, piece of artwork, or some other digital format such as an audio or video recording.

Another aspect of academic dishonesty is cheating. Cheating on a test, copying someone else’s work, or submitting work of your own that you have previously submitted in another course is unacceptable.

Under the WRDSB policy on Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting, students are required to provide evidence of their own learning. Students who submit plagiarized work have not demonstrated their own understanding of course content and skills, and may face a variety of penalties, such as detention, suspension or exemption from scholarship eligibility. A mark of zero is not assigned for plagiarized work; students will be required to demonstrate their understanding in another activity or assignment, but some repercussions may be worse than a mark of zero.

Why do people plagiarize?

  • poor time management
  • not understanding what plagiarism is
  • insecure in own abilities
  • the digital world makes it so easy to do

How to avoid plagiarizing

Always cite your sources. Record your sources as you work. Use a digital note to record the author’s name, title of publication, publishing information, date, and page or website address.

Know when to quote or paraphrase. Supporting your writing with quotations or paraphrased information from expert sources adds credibility to your work.

How to paraphrase:

  1. Read a passage you are interested in referencing in your work.
  2. Then, without looking at the copy, explain what you learned in the passage to a partner or record your voice.
  3. Have your partner help you pinpoint the main ideas you spoke and write them down. Alternatively, jot down the main ideas you hear on playback.
  4. Now, compare what you wrote down to the original passage. If there are some short catch phrases here and there that you must use as it would inhibit understanding without them, then put quotations around them. If you find that you have just repeated phrases in the original passage, try the explanation process again to find your own words.
  5. Lastly, add the author’s name and page number in brackets after your paraphrase to provide appropriate attribution. Be sure to check the exact format for doing this based on whether your teacher has asked you to use MLA, APA, or Chicago Style citation. Just because you changed someone else’s words around, doesn’t mean you’ve avoided plagiarism. You must credit the author. In addition, if the expectation of your writing is that it is original authorship, any borrowing of other’s ideas or words is considered plagiarism, so be sure to check the expectations of your assignment.

For more information on quoting and citing sources, see the WRDSB virtual Library pages on Academic Honesty.

To learn more about tools to help you with citation, see the GPSS Library’s webpage on Citation Tools.

Bibliography
Garza, C. (2014 October). Academic Honesty: Theories into Practice. Retrieved 25 January 2018 from      http://www.ibo.org/contentassets/71f2f66b529f48a8a61223070887373a/academic-honesty.-principles-into-practice—celina-garza.pdf

Further credits:
CHCI Teacher Librarian Rose Marie Davis
Waterloo Region District School Board