The OVS Library provides numerous resources to help students with their research and course work. Librarian Ashlee Nishiya also provides guidance on what constitutes plagiarism and how to create perfect works cited pages. Here are a few common questions and Mrs. Nishiya’s answers on plagiarism and proper use of sources:
Q: What is plagiarism?
A: The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as “the wrongful appropriation or purloining, and publication as one’s own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas (literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, etc) of another” (2192).
Okay, in normal people language, plagiarism is when you take something that is not yours (an idea, words, drawing, etc) and pass it off as your own without giving credit to the original author.
For example, if I had simply written “Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation or purloining, and publication as one’s own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas (literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, etc) of another” then I would be plagiarizing. Why? Because I am taking someone else’s words and passing it off as my own.
Q: How do I avoid plagiarism/plagiarizing?
A: So, you may be saying to yourself, “I don’t want to plagiarize and get an F on my paper. How can I avoid plagiarism?” Well, that is a good question. The most important step to not plagiarizing is making sure you are properly citing your sources. Now you may be asking yourself, “Well, what do I cite?” Another good question; you are just full of them today. You should cite the following things:
- Direct quotes
- Words you paraphrase or summarize
- Artwork (drawings, photographs, paintings, etc)
Lastly, this is my personal advice to you and I’m going to give it to you free of charge. When in doubt, cite. You can always ask a teacher or myself, but if you are too shy or are at home, play it safe and cite the source. It could be the difference between an A paper and an F paper.