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What is plagiarism?
When you use another person's ideas, opinion, or words as your own you have committed an act of plagiarism. According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, plagiarize is:
"to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source"
"to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source"
Reasons why academic research uses citations:
- We acknowledge where we learned specific information - Scholars work for years to research and publish the information in books and articles. If you use that knowledge, give proper credit.
- We demonstrate that we know the field we are studying - All ideas have a history. Your citations demonstrate that you know the progression of research and knowledge in a field by citing the major, accepted works in the field.
- We provide our readers with a resource for learning more - Citations help others track down information where they can learn more about the topic you are writing about.