What is plagiarism? | Student Handouts
 
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What's the deal with plagiarism?


Plagiarism is taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own (whether you mean to or not).  When you're writing a paper for school, odds are that the vast majority of factual content for your paper was not sitting in your head.  You had to read some books, surf some websites, take some notes, and then had to sit down and stitch this information into an essay. 


Although it may feel like you've done a lot of work, your work is nothing compared to the work of the writers whose books you've read.  You are using these writers' hard work and ideas to create your own essay, and it is important to give them credit.  On college campuses, giving these writers credit is so important that failing to do so can lead to expulsion.  Ouch!


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