Skip to Main Content

APA Style (7th edition)

Based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a serious form of academic dishonesty, defined as "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (Oxford English Dictionary) Most students understand the basic idea behind plagiarism, but may not understand that one may still unintentionally plagiarize because they are in a rush to complete and assignment or don't fully understand the different ways one can plagiarize information.

Take a moment to refresh your ideas of plagiarism with the information below, before you continue through the guide. 

Examples of Plagiarism

Examples of Intentional Plagiarism

  • Turning in someone else's work as your own.
  • Re-using your work from another class.
  • Copying large pieces of text from a source without citing that source.
  • Taking passages from multiple sources, piecing them together, and turning in the work as your own.
  • Copying from a source but changing a few words and phrases to disguise plagiarism.
  • Paraphrasing from a number of different sources without citing those sources.
  • Turning in work that you did for another class without getting your professor's permission first.
  • Buying an essay or paper and turning it in as your own work.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

  • Mentioning an author or source within your paper without including a full citation in your bibliography.
  • Citing a source with inaccurate information, making it impossible to find that source.
  • Using a direct quote from a source, citing that source, but failing to put quotation marks around the copied text.
  • Paraphrasing from multiple cited sources without including any original work.

Real World Examples of Plagiarism

Plagiarizing is not just an issue for college students who are writing research papers. Below are some real world examples:

Know What to Cite

Examples of Things You Should Always Cite

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge
  • Ideas, words, theories and exact language which another person used
  • Publications that should be cited include:  books, articles, web pages, theses, etc.
  • Another person's exact words should be quoted and cited to show proper credit