What is Plagiarism?:
To Cite or Not to Cite? Part 1 of 5

What is Plagiarism?

Outcome: You will be able to define plagiarism.

Approximate Completion Time: 10 minutes

**To receive credit for completing this portion of the tutorial you must fill out the form on page 9.**




Defining Plagiarism

Plagiarism is using someone else's words, ideas, pictures or other original content without acknowledgment.

Students often think that it is not a big deal to

without acknowledging the source of the words, picture or idea.

But all of these uses are plagiarism, and plagiarism can have severe consequences.

At Valencia (and most colleges in the United States) plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty. Read the college's definition of academic dishonesty at http://www.valenciacollege.edu/generalcounsel/policydetail.cfm?RecordID=193.

The possible penalties for academic dishonesty include:

Read Valencia's procedures for Academic Dishonesty from the Policy Manual at http://www.valenciacollege.edu/generalcounsel/proceduredetail.cfm?RecordID=193.


Intellectual Property or Why is Plagiarism a Big Deal?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as follows: "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft."

The idea of plagiarism as theft is an important one in American academic culture; it stems from the concept of intellectual property.

Western cultures, such as those of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, commonly value intellectual property. Intellectual property is the idea that a person or organization can own a idea, a phrase, an essay, a song, a particular photograph, etc. Ideas can be owned even if the owner decides to make the idea freely available on the Internet. For instance a band might decide to release a video of a particular song on YouTube. Despite making that video available the band still owns the content, and people finding that video on YouTube cannot claim ownership or use that video any way they please. If you took a video from YouTube, put it on your own web site and tried to sell it, you would find yourself in court defending yourself against a law suit.


Famous Plagiarism Cases


Famous Plagiarism Cases

Photograph of Katy Perry

Accusations of plagiarism come up frequently in politics, journalism, music, movies and other areas as well as education.


Some famous people who have been accused of plagiarism are:


Jayson Blair, former New York Times columnist.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, historian.

James Cameron, film director.

Kaavya Viswanathan, Harvard student writer.

Australian band Men at Work.

Katy Perry, singer.


A Google news search on "plagiarism" is sure to turn up hundreds of articles.



(Photo credit: The Toad. Katy Perry. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical 2.0 Generic license.)


Fig. 1: Defoe, David. "Katy Perry." 18 July 2008. Photo. Flickr. Yahoo!, n.d. 21 Aug. 2010.




Examples of Plagiarism

Copying phrases without citing.

Copying sentences without citing.

Paraphrasing without citing. (Putting an idea into your own words.)

Summarizing without citing. (Giving an overview of another person's ideas.)

Copying charts, graphs or videos to use in your presentation without citing.

Reusing an assignment you created for a previous class in your current class without permission from both instructors.

Copying an entire paper or speech.

Purchasing an entire speech or paper from a web site.

Sometimes asking a friend/relative/classmate for help on your speech can also result in plagiarism, depending on how much and what kind of help that person gives you.

Bottom line: If you use someone else's words, ideas, or creative work without citing it, you have plagiarized


Why is Plagiarism a Big Deal? Part II

Coming back to the classroom environment at Valencia, if you understand that your professors think of plagiarism as literary theft, you can understand why plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and has such severe consequences. You are cheating yourself of the opportunity to learn. College assignments are meant to prepare you for the types of challenges you will meet in your personal and work lives. Everyone needs to be able to prepare and present a speech, whether you end up using the skill in sales calls, presentations to your colleagues, or toasting a friend at a wedding.

Watch a 3 minute video clip introducing plagiarism and intellectual property. (Note: for closed captioned version, select the Windows Media version of the clip from the drop-down menu underneath the video. Then click the icon on the right-hand side on the tool bar beneath the video to turn the captioning on.)


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Click Finish and then Print to keep a copy of your answer.

Works Cited

Works Cited


"Plagiarism." Def. 1. Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford UP, 2009. Web. 13 Aug. 2010.


Plagiarism: What Do You Value? Dir. Michael Henry. Learning Essentials, 2005. Films on

Demand. Web. 13 July 2010.


Valencia College. "Academic Dishonesty Policy." Policies and Procedures6Hx28:

8-11.ValenciaCommunity CollegeGeneral Counsel, 11. Dec. 2007. Web.13 Aug. 2010.


Valencia College. "Academic Dishonesty Procedure." Policies and Procedures

6Hx28: 8-11.Valencia College General Counsel, 11. Dec. 2007. Web. 13

Aug. 2010.

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