What is Plagiarism?

"To use another person's ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source is to plagiarize. Plagiarism, then, constitutes intellectual theft and often carries severe penalties, ranging from failure in a course to expulsion from school." [MLA (Modern Language Association), from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 4th ed.]
Plagiarism is usually thought of in terms of text and writing, but non-written works can also be plagiarized.  Any images, sounds or videos you use must be properly cited. 
Also, remember that plagiarism is different from copyright infringement. Even if a work is in the public domain you still must acknowledge its creator or source in your academic works. For example, you can't copy one of Shakespeare's sonnets and pretend that you wrote it.

Plagiarism at ODU

ODU considers academic ethics to be of utmost importance. You should all know the ODU Honor Pledge:
"I pledge to support the Honor System of Old Dominion University. I will refrain from any form of academic dishonesty or deception, such as cheating or plagiarism. I am aware that as a member of the academic community it is my responsibility to turn in all suspected violations of the Honor Code. I will report to a hearing if summoned."
"Plagiarism" figures prominently here. So, be sure you understand the following:
  • It is possible to inadvertently plagiarize and not realize that you are doing so.
  • Ignorance will not help if you are accused of plagiarizing.
  • It is your responsibility to know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

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