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TRIO McNair Undergraduate Research Guide: Avoiding Plagiarism


Chapter 14 of the UW System Administrative Code defines plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct, which can result in a range of disciplinary actions ranging from receiving a lowered grade or failing a course to removal from a program, suspension, or expulsion. Academic misconduct is a serious issue, and it is vital to understand what exactly plagiarism is and how to avoid it. 

Forms of plagiarism include, but are not limited to: 

  • Copying whole papers or passages from another student or from any source. 

  • Allowing another student to copy or submit one's work. 

  • Buying or obtaining a paper from any source, including term-paper sellers and internet sources, and submitting that paper or passages of it as one's own work. 

  • Pasting a passage from the internet or any computer source into one's paper without quoting and attributing the passage. 

  • Fabricating or falsifying a bibliography. 

Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism

Credit must be given when using one of the following in the own research paper: 

  • another person's idea, opinion, or theory 

  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings, or other non-textual elements used or that you adapted from another source 

  • any pieces of information that are not common knowledge 

  • quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words 

  • paraphrase of another person's spoken or written words