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If you just find someone else’s work and say it’s your own, you’re not actually learning anything. When you finish school, that’s knowledge that you missed out on, stuff you needed to know for the real world. Plagiarism is a serious thing and you want to make sure to avoid it at all costs.
And it’s not only the worst form of plagiarism—it’s the dumbest form.
First of all, teachers and even college TAs have a very good sense of your work, so when you turn in something that doesn’t sound like you, it’s going to raise suspicion. A much more common and often unintentional form of plagiarism is not citing a quoted source.
Once you learn some general knowledge, like definitions and famous historical events and dates, you can just use that in your work. If you copy part of a sentence, a sentence, or a paragraph directly out of the article and put it in your paper—maybe because the original author just said it the simplest and best way possible—then you to quote it and cite it.
Even if you just paraphrase an idea without saying where it came from, that’s plagiarism.
It is not necessary, however, to attribute common knowledge, which refers to widely known facts found in numerous places.
Sounds Using or closely imitating another person’s sounds or music is plagiarism.
So, yeah, you know not to go online, find an essay someone else wrote, and submit it as your own. But there are a lot of other things that count as plagiarism too, things that aren’t quiteas obvious—but can get you into just as much trouble. To make sure you are 100000% clear on what counts as plagiarism so you can stay on the right side of the law in your high school work, your college applications, and the work you do once you get intocollege. The easy answer is that plagiarism is using someone else’s work and saying it’s your work.
If your English professor assigns an essay on and you find an essay online, copy it, and put your name on the top, that’s plagiarism.
The biggest and worst form of plagiarism is just straight-out lying about the work you turn in.
(And if you’re caught plagiarizing on your college applications, well, you’ll just never get accepted to the school, simple as that.) Related: Plagiarism Paranoia: 3 Myths About Plagiarism All Students Should Know There are lots of different kinds of plagiarism, but we’ll cover the worst and most common types.