Give credit whenever you use:
Deliberate plagiarism is when you present someone else’s work as your own. Whether you copy and paste text from a website, "borrow" a friend’s paper, quote without a citation, or summarize without giving credit, it’s plagiarism.
Accidental plagiarism happens when writers fail to write complete, correct citations, or when they don’t understand what they must cite. The tips on this page should help you understand citation rules that can help prevent accidental plagiarism.
Common knowledge refers to facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by a lot of people. You don’t need to cite sources for these facts.
Because the following is a commonly known fact, it doesn’t need to be cited:
In the following, you do need to cite your source (even though you did not quote directly) because the idea that "Bush's relationship with Congress has hindered family leave legislation" is an interpretation of facts:
There is no strict definition of common knowledge – you’ll have to use your own judgment. Can you find the information in many sources? Are a lot of people likely to know it? Then it’s common knowledge.
Quotations are when you use someone's exact words. When you quote, place the passage you are using in quotation marks, and document the source according to a standard documentation style (MLA, APA, etc). The following is a correctly cited quotation:
Paraphrasing means using someone's ideas, but putting them in your own words. This is probably the skill you will use most when incorporating sources into your writing – and it’s the easiest way to accidentally plagiarize. Although you use your own words to paraphrase, you must still acknowledge the source of the information. Think of it as citing the ideas rather than the text.
If Pritchard says “Public schools need reform but they're irreplaceable in teaching all the nation's young” you are plagiarising if you write:
Credit Pritchard and use new words and a new sentence structure, and you can avoid plagiarizing. This is correct paraphrasing: