Representing another person’s written work as your own is probably the most frequently discussed and most easily understood form of plagiarism. In the context of a traditional research paper this can take a variety of forms, but often looks like intentional copying or poor paraphrasing without providing references to the source material.
Your work has value. This is a good reason to distinguish it from the work of others. When writing it should be clear what words and ideas are yours and what is the work of someone else. Here are a few practices you should follow to distinguish your work:
Always cite your sources. Any idea, unique fact, or creative expression (such as a quote or an image) that is not your own, you should tell your audience where you found it. This will bolster your own claims by putting your work in context and enable further exploration by enabling readers to track down your sources and examine them in more detail. Our citation guide has more help on using the most common citation styles. Your professors, class preceptors, and librarians can also help you determine when a reference is needed.
Informal case studies are a great way to take a closer look at and share the experiences of Macalester College students who have been found in violation of the College's academic integrity policy. Several of these students agreed to share their violation and what led up to it as well as identify lessons learned.