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Citation Guide

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism can be defined as the act of using someone else's ideas, words, or work without proper attribution.

Examples of Plagiarism...

  • Copying the words or ideas of someone else without giving credit
  • Turning in someone else's work as your own
  • Failing to put a direct quote in quotation marks
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation or an idea
  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source
  • Not providing a citation for a direct quote or for paraphrased content


Self-Plagiarism is the reuse of your own work without attribution, and is considered a form of plagiarism because it does not credit the original source and falsely implies that the work is newly created.

You should never re-use previous work without the explicit permission of your professor!

If the original work was published, self-plagiarism may be a violation of copyright.

Other Resources

Honor Code Violations at PC

Is It Really a Big Deal?

Yes!  If caught for plagiarism (even unintentional plagiarism) at PC, you could get an F on the assignment, get an F in the class, or be expelled from school.  In "real life", plagiarizing can have even more serious consequences:

  • The Verve was sued for plagiarism in the late 1990's by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, of the Rolling Stones.  Jagger and Richards claimed that the Verve's song "Bitter Sweet Symphony" borrowed heavily from the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time", and all royalties from the song were paid to Jagger and Richards for over 20 years.
  • Jotham Sederstrom was fired from his job as editor at The New York Daily News after it was discovered that he edited out citations from a story published in 2016.  The author of the story was initially accused of plagiarizing but was able to produce time stamped emails that cleared his name.
  • Dr. Eric Poehlman faced criminal prosecution for falsifying scientific study results and was permanently barred from receiving public grant money.
  • Beyonce has been sued multiple times for plagiarism, most recently by filmmaker Matthew Fulks.
  • Fareed Zakaria was suspended by CNN and Time magazine for plagiarizing an article by Jill Lapore that appeared in The New Yorker.
  • An Amherst College professor resigned her position when plagiarism was discovered in her scholarly work.
  • Kaavya Viswanathan's novel "How Opal Metha Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life" contained passages plagiarized from author Megan McCafferty.  The publisher recalled all copies of the book and canceled her contract for a second book.
  • Katie Perry was ordered to pay damages to Christian rapper, Flame, for plagiarizing his song Joyful Noise.  Listen to both tracks at the link provided to weigh in on the ruling.