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Virtual Library & Student Resource Guide: Plagiarism

Plagiarism Defined

“Plagiarism is any conduct in academic work or programs involving misrepresentation of someone else’s words, ideas or data as one’s original work, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Intentionally representing as one’s own work the work, words, ideas, or arrangement of ideas, research, formulae, diagrams, statistics, or evidence of another.
  • Taking sole credit for ideas and/or written work that resulted from collaboration with others.
  • Paraphrasing or quoting material without citing the source.
  • Submitting as one’s own a copy of or the actual work of another person, either in part or in entirety, without appropriate citation (e.g., term-paper mill or internet derived products).
  • Sharing computer files and programs or written papers and then submitting individual copies of the results as one’s own individual work.
  • Submitting substantially the same material in more than one course without prior authorization from each instructor involved.
  • Modifying another’s work and representing it as one’s own work.”

From College of the Desert's What are the rights & responsibilities of students point 13b.

What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is when you take someone else's words or ideas without giving them credit for it. This is plagiarism because even though you might not be directly quoting somebody, you are taking their intellectual property.

Believe it or not, students get caught for this all the time. Why? Because each individual has a unique voice when they write and when you take somebody else's expertise and thought process, your writing voice changes - and that is something your professor definitely would notice. For example, if you walked into class one day and started speaking in a heavy French accent - your professor would notice. 

You can face serious disciplinary consequences for paraphrasing (see the Possible Student Disciplinary Sanctions on this page). How do you avoid it? Just give the author credit! 

Guide Attribution


"What is plagiarism and how to avoid it." by Brock Library. Published on YouTube under a CC by 3.0 license. Last accessed October 4th, 2018.

LACC's Cheating and Plagiarism Policy

LACC expects students to be honest and ethical at all times. Be advised that instructors will refer cases of suspected cheating to the Dean of Student Services for possible disciplinary action. Cheating is a violation of academic integrity and Board Rule 9803.12. Penalties for cheating may include a grade of zero or “F” on an exam or paper, or even suspension from the College.

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