Research on the Internet

Regarding the Definitions of Plagiarism


Some students erroneously believe that plagiarism can occur only when there is an explicit intent to deceive. Plagiarism can occur whenever one makes use of the ideas or work product of another without including an appropriate citation, and applies to every type of work encountered in law school. Students are responsible for the information concerning plagiarism found in Avoiding Plagiarism in Law School: A Law Student's Guide to Sources and Their Acknowledgment available in the Dean's office and the law library.



There are two forms of self-plagiarization:

for students self-plagiarization is taking a term paper or essay that was written for one class and submitting substantial parts of that work for credit in a second class, without informing the instructor.

for professionals self-plagiarization is using part of one publication in a subsequent publication, without the indicia of a quotation or citation to a paraphrase of an earlier publication



Know what plagiarism is: ignorance will not excuse a violation. Intentional plagiarism is deliberate copying or use of another's work without credit. Unintentional plagiarism can result from not knowing citation standards ("I thought the Internet was free!"), from sloppy research and poor note-taking, or from careless "cutting and pasting" of electronic sources.


College Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the presenting of another's works, ideas or projects as one's original work. To draw upon another's work; to copy out passages (even as short as a sentence) verbatim or with small changes; to use as original another's ideas, interpretations, striking terms or phrases; to paraphrase; or to summarize without acknowledging the source these require acknowledgement (i.e.footnotes or other citations giving adequate description of the source of materials and clearly indicating all quotations either by quotation marks or by otherwise setting off the quoted passage).


Further Amplification and Qualification of the Definition

The most common forms of student plagiarism, whether deliberate or not, are these:

1. Too much of the wording is quoted without being placed within quotation marks.

2. The research or thoughts of another are not credited.

3. The sources used are merely listed in a bibliography section and not specifically tied to information in the




The University has strict regulations against plagiarism in written work, and failure to observe them will be heavily penalized
. For a full account of the Faculty's policy on plagiarism, and its disciplinary procedures in dealing with it, see <>.
The University definition of plagiarism is ‘Verbatim or near-verbatim copying or paraphrasing, without acknowledgement, from published or unpublished material (including other students’ essays)'; this will ‘incur a penalty which will be at least a mark of zero for the element or elements of assessment concerned (which means in practice that you will fail at least one unitof your course) and may, depending on the seriousness of the case, extend to a reduction of class of degree, deprivation of a University qualification, or termination of course’.

Because so much of our course is based on assessed essay work, the Department operates these regulations strictly; you will be required to sign a declaration on the cover sheet of every essay that it contains no plagiarised material. This means that you can't afford to risk intentional plagiarism, and have no excuse for unintentional plagiarism. Make sure that any notes you take from secondary works include full reference to their sources; use quotation marks in your notes to separate the author’s words clearly from yours. All works used should be cited in the concluding booklist; but you must also acknowledge specific borrowings from them in the body of the essay. Points taken over from books or lectures should be explicitly acknowledged (‘As L.S. Caton suggests...’); direct quotations from secondary works should be within inverted commas and followed by a brief reference to the work concerned (‘Caton, p. 123'). Close paraphrase should be avoided altogether.
Proper attribution is a skill, a common courtesy, and a moral and legal requirement.


The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press; 1993.

Includes information on copyright, but does not seem to address plagiarism specifically. The information given would avoid plagiarism.

(Much of the following section – through H - is taken from <>) with some minor clarifications)

One HUGE misconception that students have is that rewriting something is not plagiarism, because they are "putting it in their own words". Well, if the source is not officially acknowledged, IT IS PLAGIARISM. Copying and pasting actually accounts for only a small percentage of plagiarism. The majority of plagiarism is a result of text manipulation. The accessibility of the Internet makes plagiarism very tempting and unintentional plagiarism springs from this as well. Simply stated, plagiarism is using someone's work without giving the appropriate credit (i.e., citations and quotations, where necessary). This can mean several things…

A. Copying and pasting text from on-line media, such as encyclopedias, is plagiarism.

B. Copying and pasting text from any web site is plagiarism.

C. Copying text from any printed material, such as books, magazines, encyclopedias or newspapers, is plagiarism


What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the improper use, or failure to attribute, another person's writing or ideas (intellectual property). It can be as subtle as the inadvertent neglect to include quotes or references when citing another source or as blatantly unethical as knowingly copying an entire paper verbatim and claiming it as your own work.


Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another's ideas, language, or work for one's own gain. It is important to recognize, however, that one can commit plagiarism through unintentional carelessness as well as through deliberate theft. We will discuss plagiarism and how to avoid it. Remember: ignorance of the 'law' is no excuse.


Methods of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is done in various ways, some of which may be unintentional. People plagiarize by, lifting all or part of another's work, incorrectly paraphrasing, paraphrasing without proper documentation and, misusing quotes. All of these methods are much easier today with electronic copy and paste features, online thesauri, term paper Web sites, and the wealth of information available



Plagiarism, even if it's unintentional, is extremely serious; you can be expelled from UVA for it. If you plagiarize in a professional community, you will not only embarrass yourself, but you will discredit your own work and perhaps even be faced with legal action. So, it's important that you take plagiarism seriously and protect yourself against making a mistake.


What is plagiarism?

According to the University's pamphlet Academic Fraud and the Honor System:

Plagiarism is the use of the distinctive ideas or words belonging to another person without adequate acknowledgment of that person's contribution. To use as one's own the ideas or words of another is dishonest, since with most academic writing the greater part of the thought and expression is the property of the author himself. Some ideas may have such wide currency that all may use them freely; some words - such as proverbs and cliches -are public property. But when the writer borrows what belongs to any other person, whether a published or an unpublished work, he must indicate the source by way of a footnote or an internal reference, and he must enclose any and all distinctive words of the source within the quotation marks.


(i) YVCC recognizes two types of plagiarism: Intentional and unintentional. Intentional plagiarism is the dishonest act of appropriating another's ideas, words, facts, opinions, or images with the intent to deceive others about the document's origin. Any student found to have committed intentional plagiarism shall be subject to disciplinary actions provided for in the Code Procedures and Summary Suspension Rules.

(ii) Students may also commit plagiarism without intent to deceive. A student's intent to deceive shall be taken into account when instructors evaluate an act of plagiarism. All forms of plagiarism which an instructor determines to be unintentional should be treated as instructional problems to be handled within the student/instructor relationship with the instructor following, but not limited by, the penalty guideline below:

(A) Student must resubmit the assignment after instruction but before an agreed upon due date.

(B) Student can receive a lowered grade on the assignment, including "F."

(C) Student can be advised to seek aid from the writing center or tutoring center as a condition before receiving a grade or resubmitting an assignment.

The instructor need not take formal disciplinary action for unintentional plagiarism.