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Plagiarism 101: Home

Learn what plagiarism is and how to avoid getting in trouble

What is Plagiarism?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as, 

"The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." 

Plagiarism can occur intentionally or unintentionally. Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty that can have serious consequences. However, when you have an understanding of what plagiarism is, why it matters and strategies you can take to prevent plagiarism, you can avoid it. 

Types of Plagiarism

  • Paraphrasing plagiarism - not adequately restating someone else’s idea in your own words 
  • Mosaic plagiarism - Occurs when a student "borrows" phrases from a source without using quotation marks, or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original
  • Verbatim (Direct) plagiarism - The word-for-word transcription of a section of someone else’s work without attribution or quotations
  • Self-plagiarism - Occurs when a student submits his or her own previous work, or mixes parts of previous works, without permission from all professors involved.
  • Insufficient Acknowledgement - Also called “Accidental Plagiarism”. Occurs when a person neglects to cite their sources or misquotes their sources or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words, and/or sentence structure without attribution.

Spoon River College Policy

The SRC Online Student Handbook states, "Academic misconduct generally refers to behavior in which an individual cheats, plagiarizes, or otherwise falsely represents someone else's work as his or her own." 

Plagiarism: Presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgement of the source or sources) or submitting a piece of work which in part or in whole is not entirely   the student’s own work, without attributing the unoriginal portions to their correct sources. The sole exception of the requirement of acknowledging sources occurs when ideas or information are common knowledge.”

 “Faculty members have the authority to decide if student have   committed academic misconduct.”

It is important to note that there are a number of possible sanctions for academic misconduct, such as grade adjustment (receiving a 0 on your assignment) or failing the course. (You can find more details in your SRC Student Handbook or SRC Course Catalog)


The Learning Resource Center held a Plagiarism Workshop in Fall 2019. Below, you can find a copy of the handout that was given at the workshop. This is a quick reference guide on Avoiding Plagiarism. You can print this guide and use it whenever you are writing a research paper. Below that you can find a link to other resources. 

Plagiarism prevention, advice from other colleges


Jeannette Glover's picture
Jeannette Glover
Russell Learning Resource Center
23235 N. County Highway 22
Canton, IL 61520
(309) 649-6603