The Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own." (1) This can happen intentionally, for example, by copying another person's essay and turning it in as your work. That would be a clear-cut case of plagiarism. However, plagiarism can also happen unintentionally. For example, you could read an article and then write about the author's ideas in your own essay without giving them credit. Understanding the guidelines of plagiarism can be tricky at first. Thankfully, there are skills and tools we can learn to help us to avoid plagiarism and retain our academic integrity.
Watch this quick two minute video from the Proquest Research Companion to familiarize yourself with the common pitfalls of plagiarism and the surefire tactics that we use to avoid it.
1. "plagiarism, n.". OED Online. December 2021. Oxford University Press. https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/144939?redirectedFrom=plagiarism (accessed March 03, 2022).
Many research databases have citation generators that will create citations for a specific resource. Collect these as you research to save yourself time, but also remember to look over them for accuracy before finalizing your assignment. If you need to build a citation from scratch, sign in with your SVA credentials to access this free Proquest citation builder.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University is a longstanding reputable resource for learning about citation formats. Check out the links below for concise usage guides on each style.
Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. Includes a Word and Google plugins to pull in citations while you write and generate a bibliography. View "Documentation" for a quick start guide.
Watch this one minute video about the two kinds of citations you will use — both in-text and also collected in a list at the end of your work.
The following style guides are available as either books or online resources. Which style should you be using? That depends! It's best to check with your teacher to be sure before you begin your research.
Here are just a few examples of resources that are available at the SVA Library and on the open web to support teaching about plagiarism. Looking for something specific? Ask a librarian!