The American Historical Association defines plagiarism as the "expropriation of another's author's work, and the presentation of it as one's own." Plagiarism also includes "the limited borrowing, without sufficient attribution, of another person's distinctive and significant research findings or interpretations" The word plagiarism derives from Latin plagiarus (abductor) and plagiare (to steal). Plagiarism does not need to be intentional to be punished. The failure to acknowledge the work of others always constitutes plagiarism, regardless of whether it is the result of a deliberate act or of sloppy and careless work (full definition)
2. Forms of Plagiarism:
Plagiarism takes many forms. The most common forms are:
(a) verbatim copying of words, sentences, paragraphs or entire sections or chapter without quotation and proper attribution. This is the most obvious form of plagiarism. You must use quotation marks even if you only borrow several words in sequence from a source. If you cite a specific term that encapsulates an author's original idea, you must use quotation marks even if you only cite one word.
(b) paraphrasing (i.e. changing some of the wording) of a passage without acknowledging the source. Even if you change all of the words but retain the author's basic idea, you must cite the original source.
(c) properly citing a source in an earlier note and then continuing to use the source without citing. You must cite the source every time you adopt an idea or a specific wording. This may mean a footnote at the end of every sentence, or if the other author's ideas are uninterrupted by yours for a whole paragraph (generally not a good idea for a paper), you may have a footnote at the end of the paragraph.
(d) citing a primary source as if you have looked at it yourself, when you simply found the primary source quoted or cited in a secondary work. If you have not seen the primary source yourself or if you found the source only because you saw it referenced elsewhere, you also must cite the secondary work in which it was cited originally. Example: Julius Caesar, The Gallic Wars, p. 12, cited in Gerbil Munchkin, Caesar's Life and Times, p. 2345.
(e) common knowledge: You do not need to cite information that is part of common knowledge, i.e. information that an educated person can be reasonably expected to know before engaging in research. If you are in doubt about what qualifies as common knowledge, consult your instructor.
3. Related Forms of Academic Misconduct:
(a) dual or overlapping submissions. The UCSD Student states that "no student shall submit substantially the same material in more than one course without prior authorization." This means that you cannot submit even parts of one assignment for an assignment in another course without prior consent of both instructors.
(b) improper collaboration: some assignments require discussion and cooperation between several students. This kind of intellectual exchange is an essential part of academic life. But you cannot assume that you can simply collaborate in completing assignments and then submit virtually identical assignments. Check with your instructor about the extent of permissible collaboration in a given course. A good guideline is that a classmate can read your paper and tell you where it needs fixing (where it is unclear), but cannot tell you how to fix it.
(c) completing, in part or in total, someone else's exam or assignment or having one's exam or assignment completed, in part or in total, by someone else.
4. Electronic Sources:
The same rules for plagiarism and academic misconduct apply to online-sources. You must follow the same rules for citing and acknowledging the work of others as with respect to printed sources. But electronic sources pose an additional problem of trustworthiness, especially if they are not part of established online-journals. Remember, anybody can post anything on the Internet, and non-journal online sources do not have to pass a review process that usually exists for print sources. If you cite non-journal online sources, include the date when you accessed the source and print a copy of the source for your records. In general, you should use extreme caution in using online sources. Individual instructors also may have different policies regarding the use of online sources.
5. Prosecution of Academic Misconduct:
Instructors in the Department of History are obligated to report all forms of academic misconduct. For more information on UCSD's policies of prosecuting academic misconduct, consult the Academic Integrity website of UCSD's Academic Senate
6. Contact Information:
The UCSD Academic Integrity Coordinator is located in the Student Services Center (SSC), 402 University Center, Room 562. Mail Code: 0067; phone number: (858) 822 0015. For general information, contact Jessica Mahoney (AIC Assistant) at Ext. 2-2163.
7. Note on Sources:
Definitions of plagiarism circulate widely, and it is not possible to identify the original author. This is why the text above does not make use of proper citations. Instead, the information above was complied from the sources listed below. These references also provide further information regarding plagiarism.
Gordon Harvey, Writing with Sources. A Guide for Students (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, n.d.)