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A guide for Alice Lloyd College students and faculty to understand Federal copyright laws and McGaw Library policies.

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What is Plagiarism?

The ALC faculty has officially adopted the following policy on plagiarism:

"Plagiarism is the act of using another person's ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source... In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from someone else" (21).

"Plagiarism often carries severe penalties, ranging from failure in a course to expulsion from school."

"The most blatant form of plagiarism is to repeat as your own someone else's sentences, more or less verbatim" (22).

"Other forms of plagiarism include repeating someone else's particularly apt phrase without appropriate acknowledgement, paraphrasing another person's argument as your own, and presenting another's line of thinking as though it were your own" (23).

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 3d ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1988.

The following scenarios also constitute plagiarism:

  • Presenting the work of another student as your own.
  • Copying and pasting material from the internet without proper acknowledgement.
  • Utilizing a high percentage of direct quotes in a research paper, particularly from a single source.

Detecting Plagiarism

  • The writing style and language are above the level at which the student usually writes.
  • The student uses jargon or specialized terminology that is inconsistent with the student’s level of knowledge.
  • The quality of writing is inconsistent. The beginning and ending of the paper is deficient, but the rest of the paper is well written.
  • The paper contains references to citations that are not included in the reference list.
  • The reference list is inaccurate or incomplete.


Parts of this LibGuide are based on a LibGuide compiled by Heather L. Brown at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. All materials were used with permission.