Cross your Ts: 3 easy steps to becoming a Citation Guru

Plagiarism and academic integrity

·         Plagiarism is taking someone else's ideas, or expressions of ideas, without giving them proper credit. This can mean copying sentences or paragraphs, blending words or sentences into your own, or putting another person's idea into your own words without citing the source. Plagiarism goes beyond mere words, however, and includes statistics, data, and visual representations such as tables and graphs. To avoid plagiarism, you should always include a reference to the source of the information.

Academic integrity is taken very seriously. It is your reputation as a researcher on the line. An academic paper is the place to demonstrate that you understood what you read. It is more meaningful to write a little, and write it well in your own words, than to write a lot in someone else's words. By cheating, you short-circuit the education you seek.

How do you avoid plagiarism?

By citing your sources!

You should always include a reference when:

  • taking a direct quote from a source
  • paraphrasing someone else's idea
  • referencing another person's idea
  • using someone else's data
  • using visual elements such as graphs and tables
  • translating a text

Plagiarism Spectrum

Plagiarism Module

After completing this module, you will understand what constitutes plagiarism and be able to:

  • Determine what sources need to be referenced
  • Use source material correctly
  • Reference source material appropriately

Texts in this module by the Academic Writing Help Centre (uOttawa).