Plagiarism is using someone else's thoughts, or words and passing them off as your own original ideas. Academic classwork and writing constantly refers to the ideas and research of others who have contributed to your field of study. You will need to mention these established sources when you write your own papers, but you also need to distinguish between the ideas of others, and your own. Most plagiarism is unintentional, and results from students who are confused about how to refer to others' work. In general, you need to document your sources when:
- You use material quoted directly from another's work.
- You summarize or paraphrase material from another's work.
- You use an idea from a known and identifiable source.
- You use any fact or date that is NOT common knowledge and was found in another's work.