What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is using somebody else’s work without giving the proper credit they deserve. It can be seen as literary theft, taking credit for someone else’s work. Plagiarism has been a bigger problem in the last 10 years as technology and the information available through the click of a button on the Internet. As plagiarism has become more common, the ways to check for it have improved drastically. With the use of websites, universities and professors can check to see if thousands of different papers have used stolen work.

Plagiarism is a huge problem both morally and ethically. Have you ever let a classmate look at a worksheet for some answers? Just imagine if you have dedicated your life to researching something, and a whole bunch of college kids steal your work. Just to take credit it for it and get a good grade on a test. As a student it can be very tempting to copy and paste information from the Internet. But at all costs resist the urge to do so, the consequences can be life changing. Being caught plagiarizing at most universities leads to one thing, being expelled. I could not even imagine explaining that to my family over thanksgiving. The best way not to get caught doing this crime, is not to do it in the first place.

Citing: giving someone credit for information you are using in a presentation or a written assignment. There are a few different ways to cite, the one we use at Western Michigan University is APA (American Physiological Association.) According to Purdue University (2014), If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. Giving the proper recognition to who did the work is what citing is all about. Of course there are many different types of citing you may have to do, depending on the length, source, and context of the work you are using. For long quotations…
“Place direct quotations that are 40 words, or longer, in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.” (Purdue 2014)
Of course there are other ways to use someone’s information and work without directly quoting something.

Paraphrasing is simply the act of summarizing someone elses work, paper, or any other form of media. It can be especially handy when you are looking to add in some of your own work or opinions. But be careful there is an extremely fine line between plagiarizing and paraphrasing. Ultimately you are the one to make the moral decision, for your own sake make the right one. Paraphrasing is roughly the same length as the text you are using, it should be no longer than five sentences (Sullivan University 2011). Paraphrasing someone’s work and not citing them is still plagiarism, so again, please do the right thing.

Here at Western Michigan University, plagiarism is taken very seriously. As it should be at any respectable institution. WMU’s definition of plagiarism can be defined as any of the following. “Academic misconduct – Including but not limited to the following: Cheating, fabrication, falsification, forgery, multiple submissions, plagiarism, complicity, or other forms of academic dishonesty”(WMU Code of Conduct 2014). Breaking any of these rules can lead to numerous actions taken. At most schools, like Western Michigan University, expulsion is a very possible outcome if you are found guilty of plagiarism. Stealing someone else’s work is not worth what can and will happen to you if you are caught doing so. Its not worth it in the long run, learn to cite, learn to paraphrase, let your own thoughts and knowledge flow.

Paiz, Joshua M., Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderland, Allen Brizee, and Russell Keck. "Welcome to the Purdue OWL." Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide. Purdue University, 2 Dec. 14. Web. 03 Dec. 2014

"APA Style at Sullivan University   Tags: Apa, Research  ." In-Text Citations. Sullivan University, 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.