Plagiarism 101

What is plagiarism anyway?

According to the Hodges University Academic Honesty Policy, plagiarism is defined as "any attempt to convey another’s work as one’s own original thought. It is the use of another person’s or organization’s words or concepts without giving the appropriate credit to that person or organization." It can be intentional or accidental, but plagiarism is always a serious offense. Some examples of plagiarism include:

  • Using someone else's words without giving them credit
  • Paraphrasing without giving the original author credit
  • Using media (video/images/sound/etc) without crediting the creator
  • Purchasing or using someone else's paper and submitting it as your own
  • Submitting a paper you wrote for another class
  • Having someone rewrite part of your paper and submitting it as your own
  • Using an incorrect or incomplete citation

What can happen if I plagiarize?

Hodges takes plagiarism very seriously. Students who plagiarize are subject to academic sanctions that can include a warning, failing the assignment, failing the course, academic probation, mandatory integrity workshops, suspension, or dismissal from the school. This will depend on the severity of plagiarism. Obviously, we don't want any of this to happen, so it's much easier to avoid plagiarizing in the first place!

How can I prevent plagiarism?

It's easy! When you use someone else's ideas, cite the source! For more information how to cite sources in APA, check out our APA guide.

Read on to learn more about plagiarism and how to prevent it.

Learn About Plagiarism

Tools for Prevention

Need help setting up your Zotero account? Visit the Zotero Help Guide.

Plagiarism Across Cultures

Some collectivist cultures view using another's words in a different way than we do in the U.S. These cultures value the work of the group over the individual and view ideas as "shared information." As a result, copying can be considered appropriate or even respectful. In addition to that, attitudes and laws about copyright vary between countries, so what may be unethical to claim as your own here may be perceived as okay somewhere else.

In the U.S., we place value on individual work and have fairly strict views on copyright. Not only is there an ethical obligation to credit an author if you use their ideas, but it is considered respectful to acknowledge them.