Plagiarism Defined

Plagiarism is intellectual theft. It is surprisingly easy for professors and scholars to identify.

Let’s say you find an idea you like in a scholarly article. Here is the text:

“The results of the investigations reported here and those of previous experiments reported by us and by other investigators lead us to believe that ultraviolet irradiation does induce drug resistance in a variety of organisms.”

You paraphrase and write:

“It is believed that drug resistance can be induced by ultraviolet irradiation.”

You consider these questions:

  • Do you need to cite what you have written? … Hmmm …
  • Is the idea about which you wrote your own? No! Thus, you must cite the
    original author(s) of the idea.

It is good to paraphrase (often times better than quoting), but you should always cite the
original research work.