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BIOL 230 Staples: Plagiarism and APA & CSE Citations

Cell & Molecular Biology

painting of pirate

Pirate was a Picturesque Fellow by Howard Pyle (from ARTstor)

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s words or ideas as your own.  If you don’t credit the author, you are committing a type of theft called plagiarism.

When you do research you incorporate outside sources – other people’s words and ideas – into your paper.  It is important to cite these sources, whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize their ideas. 

It is plagiarism when you:

  1. Buy or use a term paper written by someone else.
  2. Cut and paste passages from the Web, a book, or an article and insert them into your paper without citing them. 
  3. Use the words or ideas of another person without citing them.
  4. Paraphrase a person’s words without citing them.

Most colleges have an Academic Integrity Policy.  Consequences for plagiarism can range from failing the paper or the class to suspension from the school.

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism:  

  1. First, use your own ideas. Your paper and your ideas that should be the focus.
  2. Use the ideas of others to support or reinforce your own argument.
  3. When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use.
  4. Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.

Adapted from Western Michigan University Library's Citing Sources module.