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New Mexico State University

Plagiarism What it is and how to avoid it

What it is:  Plagiarism is using another person's work without acknowledgment, making it appear to be one's own.

How to Avoid it: Ideas, words, pictures, or other intellectual content, taken from another source must be acknowledged in a citation that gives credit to the source.

This is true no matter where the material comes from, including the Internet, other students' work, unpublished materials, or oral sources.

Intentional and unintentional instances of plagiarism are considered instances of academic misconduct and are subject to disciplinary action such as failure on the assignment, failure of the course or dismissal from the university.

It is the responsibility of the student submitting the work in question to know, understand, and comply with this policy.

Some Examples of plagiarism if no citiation is given:

  • an idea or opinion, even when put into one's own words(paraphrase)
  • a few well-said words, if these are a unique insight
  • many words, even if one changes most of them
  • materials assembled by others, for instance quotes or a bibliography
  • an argument
  • a pattern of ideas
  • graphs, pictures, or other illustrations
  • facts
  • all or part of an existing paper or other resource
(This list is not meant to include all possible examples of plagiarism)


  some helpful terms for this site

  • Paraphrase - Putting another person's ideas into your own words. This is not a quote, but you still need a citation giving credit for the idea.

  • Verbatim - An exact quoting of words, with no changes. All quotes should be verbatim

  • Citation - This contains all the information one needs to find an article: author, title, date, publisher, etc.

    These can also be footnotes or endnotes that point to items in your bibliography.

  • Bibliography- A list of books and articles. At the end of the paper, this is sometimes called "References" or "Works Cited."

Sources Consulted in the Construction of the Plagiarism Website

Credits for the Plagiarism Web site

Colorado State University, Writing Center: "Avoiding Plagiarism"

Duke University, "Plagiarism: Its Nature and Consequences"

OWL at Purdue, "Is It Plagiarism Yet?"

Indiana University Bloomington, Writing Tutorial Services: "Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It"

Indiana University Bloomington, School of Education, "Definition of Plagiarism"

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