Skip to main content

Plagiarism: Glossary

What it is and ways to avoid it, with exercises and examples


Citing Sources: stating where you got the information you are using in your paper.

Acknowledging Sources: giving credit to the authors of the sources you use in your paper.

Attribution: to give credit to an author or the creator of a scholarly work.

Documentation: the process of providing evidence (citing your sources) in a research paper.

Parenthetical Documentation:  placing the author's name and page number from a souce in parentheses at the end of the sentence. e.g . (Zu 33)

Citation: a source quoted in an essay, report, or book to clarify, illustrate, or substantiate a point.

Bibliography:  a list of works (books, journals, websites, periodicals, etc.) on a particular subject, or by a particular author, or that one has used for researching a topic.  Bibliographies are usually at the end of the research paper and are also known as "References" or "Works Cited". A bibliography or citation usually just includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.).

Annotated Bibliography:  an annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or of each of the sources in the list.

Research:  the purpose of research is to state and support a thesis.

Collusion: a form of plagiarism with students collaborating in a piece of work without authorization.

Quotation:  a quotation reproduces an actual part of a source to support a statement or idea or to provide an example.

Paraphrase: a paraphrase is a restatement in your own words and sentence structure of specific ideas or information from a source.

Summary: a summary is a brief restatement in your own words of the main ideas or general meaning of the ideas in a source. 

Unintentional/Accidental Plagiarism: inaccurate crediting of a source through improper quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing.

Common Knowledge: widely known facts and information about current events, famous people, geographical facts, or familiar history.

Sources to document: books, Web sites, periodicals, newspapers, material from electronic databases, radio and television programs, interviews, speeches, letters and correspondence, email.