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Avoiding Plagiarism

Need help avoiding plagiarism? Learn what plagiarism is, common plagiarism issues, and tutorials to help you avoid plagiarizing!

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is: "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

What would be considered plagiarism?

  • submitting another's work as your own

  • taking someone else's words or ideas without citing them

  • not indicating a direct quotation 

  • providing erroneous citation information

  • improper summarizing or paraphrasing (e.g. not putting the ideas in your own words!)

Plagiarism for NEOMED Students

NEOMED has a Student Honor Code, which includes the following definition of plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct: 

Plagiarism (intentional or unintentional representation of ideas or works of another author as a student’s own without properly citing the source or the use of materials prepared by another person; violations of copyright laws

Penalties will range from remediation to expulsion.

The full Student Honor Code may be found at

Types of Plagiarism

There are different types of plagiarism: intentional, unintentional, and self-plagiarism. 

Intentional plagiarism is self-explanatory: text is directly copied into a paper without attribution.

Unintentional plagiarism is the majority of plagiarism cases. This involves:

  • forgetting to cite a quotation 
  • failure to mark a quotation as a direct quote 
  • improperly summarizing or paraphrasing content 
  • improperly citing a resource

These are not the only ways one can unintentionally plagiarize, but they are the most common.

There's also self-plagiarism, which is using a work written for one class and turning it in for credit in another class. It's self-plagiarizing even if some edits have changed. Always speak to your professor if you want to use a project from one class as a "stepping-stone" for another project!