A Definition: Plagiarism is the act of presenting the words, ideas, images, sounds, or the creative expression of others as your own.
It's plagiarism whether you use:
- a whole document
- a paragraph
- a single sentence
- a distinctive phrase
- a specialized term
- specific data
- a graphic element of any kind
You need to cite when you...
- Use or refer to someone else’s words or ideas
- Gain information through interviewing another person
- Copy the exact words or a “unique phrase”
- Reprint diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, videos, music
- Use other people’s ideas (printed, or through conversations or email)
You don't need to cite when you...
- Write about your own experiences, thoughts, and opinions
- Use "common knowledge" that most people know, such as myths, folklore, common observations, or historical events, e.g,, George Washington was the first president of the United States.
- Use generally accepted facts, e.g., exercise has positive health benefits.