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Citing and Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

The Oxford English Dictionary database (2006) defines plagiarism (noun) as "the action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." and to plagiarize (verb) as "originally of writers, later also of composers, artists, etc.: to take and use as one's own (the thoughts, writings, or inventions of another person); to copy (literary work or ideas) improperly or without acknowledgement; (occasionally) to pass off as one's own the thoughts or work of (another). Also figurative. Also intransitive."

So, if you find a piece of information that you want to use, you need to give credit to whom credit is due.


Note that you can also self-plagiarize- The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Research Integrity,  (accessed August 23, 2019) defines self-plagiarism as "authors who reuse their own previously disseminated content and pass it off as a ”new” product without letting the reader know that this material has appeared previously."

If you have previously written a paper, then you cannot re-use that paper for another assignment.

How do I prevent Plagiarism?

In order to prevent plagiarizing (which can lead to failing your class and expulsion from RCBC), you will need to cite where your information came from, both in the body of your paper and at the end of your paper on a separate page (usually a Works Cited, Reference, or Bibliography).

There are three main citation formats that are currently used at RCBC: MLA, APA, and Chicago. Occasionally a class may use a different citation style from these. Check your class syllabus to find out which format you will be expected to use in that class. 


Plagiarism 2.0: Information ethics in the digital age [Video file]. (2011). Retrieved January 14, 2020, from


This video can be found in the Films on Demand Database.

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