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Plagiarism: Home

What is Plagiarism, How to Avoid It, UW-La Crosse Policies, and Resources


Be aware that different disciplines, cultures, and individuals have different accepted ways of presenting and acknowledging sources for information. This guide is meant to be a starting point and a general guide. Please check with your individual course instructor if you have any doubts about plagiarism. 

What is Plagiarism?

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

Plagiarism in the News

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Plagiarism Guide

This guide will introduce students to the concept of plagiarism, strategies for avoiding it, UWL policy on plagiarism, and citing sources.

Examples of Plagiarism

If you do not cite the source, whether it's just a few words or whole paragraphs--the following all constitute plagiarism:

  • Copying from a website, such as Wikipedia.

  • Copying from an article in a magazine, journal, or newspaper.

  • Copying from a book.

  • Copying someone else's work.

  • Any form of "copying & pasting" without citing.

  • Rewording (paraphrasing) a source, or someone else's work, without citing it.

  • Failing to place quotation marks around a direct quote.

  • Fabricating citations or providing incorrect references.

  • Buying an essay online and turning it in as your own.

  • Using a previously written essay from one class in another class.

Avoiding Plagiarism Flowchart

Research Assistance

Reference Desk

Librarians can help you learn to make the most of the information resources, tools, and services of Murphy Library and beyond!

Weekdays & Sunday afternoons (fall/spring):

  • Visit us at the reference desk (1st floor)
  • Call us at 608.785.8508
  • Web Chat with us

Any time (year-round):

Local history and/or archives research? Special Collections / Area Research Center specialists are available!

Plagiarism Video

A Quick Guide to Plagiarism, via YouTube. Video created by Cape Fear Community College.


We all stand on the shoulders of giants; I thank Joe Hardenbrook, Instruction & Reference Librarian at UW-Green Bay for my re-use and revision of his Plagiarism LibGuide. I also thank the Teaching and Learning with Technology Department at Penn State University and School of Education at Indiana University for material adopted from their plagiarism guides.