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Plagiarism & Citation

The purpose of your English classes is to teach you how to think, how to write, and how to share ideas with others. You will be expected to read the body of knowledge on English literature and contribute to it. If you use someone else's exact words, you must put them into quotation marks and give the author credit. When you use someone else's ideas by paraphrasing the words or using their ideas, you must still give credit to the original thinker. Failure to do so, whether unintentional or not, is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a very serious offense for several reasons:

  1. You are cheating the author of credit for his/her ideas.
  2. You are lying to your teacher by implying that the words or ideas are yours.
  3. You are taking advantage of your teacher's respect and trust.
  4. You are harming the honest students whose work must compete against yours.

The portions of the academic integrity policy that pertain to plagiarism,  including the consequences set forth in the Disciplinary Code, are explained more fully in the student handbook.

The English Department strongly recommends that all students familiarize themselves with the following Web sites:

30-minute self-study -- Isn't it worth the 30 minutes to insure that you will never unintentionally commit plagiarism? This Web site walks you through the ins-and-outs of plagiarism.  Make sure you go all the way to the end to take the Plagiarism Post-test!  If you can pass this test, then you should be able to protect yourself from accidental plagiarism!

Different Areas of Plagiarism -- Don't have 30 minutes? Do you think you know what plagiarism is? Take this interactive quiz to find out!

Plagiarism Guide -- This quick guide reviews the basics to avoid plagiarism and to properly cite sources.

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab -- Within this valuable resource, you can learn when to give credit and how to stay “safe” when using sources. There is also a practice exercise.

Plagiarism WebQuest -- This document is primarily for teachers to use, but you can use the resources in this WebQuest to learn more about plagiarism.

Plagiarism Resource -- Read these documents to define plagiarism, to avoid plagiarism, and to take effective notes.

Citation machine. You have no excuses people!  Select the type of electronic resource, such as a Web page, and fill out the online form. The Web site automatically generates the correct citation in both APA and MLA styles. Please note that this Web site does not teach the finer nuances of parenthetical citation.

MLA citation -- This guide from Indiana University explains how to use MLA citation properly.  The site also gives a tutorial on plagiarism.

*This web page contains links to web pages that are outside the Medfield School System.   These links will open in a new browser window.  The Medfield School System does not control the content or relevancy of these pages.