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Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship (RCRS)

Ethics resources for individuals at the UM College of Engineering, including how to keep a lab notebook; publishing resources for authors; how to locate and cite sources, and resources for avoiding plagiarism and complying with copyright laws.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Unsure about plagiarism? Check out this U-M Library web page about academic integrity.

Still unsure? Check out the University of Maryland University College's Virtual Academic Integrity Laboratory's tutorial on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

More Resources about Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgment of the source.

If you don't credit the author, you are committing a type of theft called plagiarism.

When you work on a research paper you will probably find supporting material for your paper from works by others. It's okay to use the ideas of other people, but you do need to correctly credit them.

When you quote people -- or even when you summarize or paraphrase information found in books, articles, or Web pages -- you must acknowledge the original author. It is plagiarism when you

  1. Buy or use a term paper written by someone else.

  2. Cut and paste passages from the Web, a book, or an article and insert them into your paper without citing them. Warning! It is now easy to search and find passages that have been copied from the Web.

  3. Use the words or ideas of another person without citing them.

  4. Paraphrase that person's words without citing them

Think you have a handle on plagiarism? Take this quiz created by Indiana University to test your knowledge!

Four tips for avoiding plagiarism

1. First, use your own ideas. Your paper and your ideas should be the focus. If you use your own ideas from a previously published work, you must include proper citation.

2. Use the ideas of others sparingly--only to support or reinforce your own argument.

3. When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use.

4. Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words or your own previously published work.