What is Plagiarism?
1. The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft.
2. A particular idea, piece of writing, design, etc., which has been plagiarized; an act or product of plagiary.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Do I always have to cite?
You don't need to cite the following types of information:
- Common Knowledge (factual information you can readily find in at least 5 different sources)
- Anything that is legitimately your own personal knowledge
- Your own thoughts, opinions, and experiences
When in doubt, cite!
Did you know?
Paraphrasing can also be plagiarism. When paraphrasing, make sure to put the original source's thoughts, opinions, etc., into your own words. Copying a direct quote and changing a few words to synoyms is still plagiarism! You also always need to credit the original source, even for paraphrases since you are still using another person's knowledge or opinions.
This Webpage gives good examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrases.