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Academic Integrity

Basic Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism

Causes of Plagiarism

According to the Council of Writing Program Administrators, these are some of the reasons why students plagiarize:

  • Fear of failure or lack of confidence in their writing.
  • Poor time management or procrastination.
  • Course, assignment, conventions of academic documentation not considered necessary.
  • To get a better grade.
  • Not serious about the consequences of cheating.
  • Lack of research, writing, and documentation skills.
  • Ready access to full-text articles and books through the Web.
  • Don't know when and how to cite sources.
  • They don't know how to integrate others' ideas or words into their work.
  • Not understanding the western concept that ideas and written expressions of ideas can be owned (intellectual property).
  • They don't know how to make careful and fully documented notes during their research.

Types of Plagiarism

There are many ways you can plagiarize. The following presentation describes, explains, and includes examples of the basic types of plagiarism.

Types of Plagiarism by Excelsior Online Writing Lab is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-4.0 International License (CC-BY-4.0)

The Plagiarism Spectrum - an infographic by Turnitin- includes ten types of unoriginal work, ranked by severity, and scored by frequency of appearance.