When writers give credit to sources, they are practicing academic integrity. If writers do not give credit to sources, whether intentionally or not, this is considered plagiarism.
Plagiarism is presenting other people’s ideas as your own. It is a serious offense against academic and personal integrity that could result in academic discipline including a failing grade or expulsion. Plagiarism can happen intentionally as well as unintentionally, so it is important for you to understand UMGC’s Philosophy of Academic Integrity and Policy on Academic Integrity. Understanding the expectations of academic integrity is the first step to making it part of your process.
Click on the items below for tips for practicing academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.
Start with an original research question or thesis (your main idea) that responds to your instructor’s writing assignment. Having an original idea as a starting point makes it easier to find sources that support your ideas and, therefore, avoid plagiarism.
Keep accurate records of the sources you use and be sure to note whether you have quoted from it, summarized it, paraphrased it, or commented on it.
Be sure you understand how to quote, paraphrase, and summarize information you borrow and know how to integrate this information into your paper.
If you don’t understand the source material, don’t use it in your paper.
Find out which style guide you should use for documenting your sources in your assignment and use it consistently and appropriately.
Any borrowed material should be documented appropriately, even if it is very familiar to you. This includes any course materials such as a textbook or article posted by your instructor. Whether the material is written in your own words or quoted directly, you must give credit to the original source.
Review your final written paper and look for changes in your writing style or thinking that might signal that you are using a borrowed source and then document the source accordingly.