Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own. More specifically, it involves using someone else’s work – their words, thoughts, ideas, data, or designs – in the context of your own research and failing to give credit to your source. When you conduct academic research, you rely on the use of outside sources to answer your research questions and to support your own arguments. You build on the work of others in order to create new knowledge. When you do this, it is important to acknowledge the contributions of those whose work you have incorporated into your own – to give credit where it is due.
People plagiarize for many reasons:
Sometimes people knowingly use others’ intellectual property without acknowledging their work. But plagiarism is not always cut and dried, and inexperience or ignorance can lead to mistakes.
Intentional plagiarism is knowingly presenting someone else’s work as your own, or stealing that person’s intellectual property, and includes the following examples:
Plagiarism from Saturday Night Live:
Unintentional plagiarism is failing to give proper credit to someone else’s work for any of these reasons:
Bakersfield College faculty on plagiarism: