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Resources to Understand and Avoid Plagiarism


Hello and welcome to the Plagiarism Research Guide! This guide exists to help students and researchers give proper credit in their own work. In this guide we seek to promote FSU's goals of academic integrity and excellence, as well promote effective and meaningful scholarship. Whatever your questions on plagiarism, FSU Libraries is here to help!

Why We Cite

Citation plays an important role in the research process. By correctly crediting previous research in your own work, you are participating in the expansion of your own knowledge and the growth of your studies. Citing the work of others places your work in context with the research of others in your discipline and increases the credibility of your own work. 

What is Plagiarism?

Defining Plagiarism

The FSU Academic Honor Policy defines plagiarism as "presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e. without proper acknowledgement of the source)." 

Unintentional Plagiarism

Unintentional plagiarism occurs when a writer accidentally fails to correctly cite or credit sources used in their work. This can occur when a researcher misunderstands if they need to cite a particular piece of information, have an incorrect understanding of citation conventions, or simply make a typographical error. 

Intentional Plagiarism

Intentional plagiarism occurs for a variety of reasons, from fear of failure to researchers seeking an easy way out. Intentional plagiarism takes a variety of forms but includes:

  • Copying information from a source text without attribution.
  • Paraphrasing information from a source text without attribution.
  • Turning in a peer's work as your own.
  • Purchasing a paper from a commercial source.

- Wilhoit, S. (1994). Helping students avoid plagiarism. College Teaching, 42 (4), 161-164.


Did you know that you can plagiarize your own work? If you reuse your own work without attribution, that's self-plagiarism. Many courses and publications have rules about using prior work, so please check with instructors, editors, and guidelines for ways to appropriately include previously done work if it is allowed. 

FSU Academic Honor Pledge

"I affirm my commitment to the concept of responsible freedom. I will be honest and truthful and will strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University. I will abide by the Academic Honor Policy at all times."

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