Plagiarism is a matter of serious concern for students, faculty and academic institutions. Most academic institutions impose high standards of academic integrity and penalties for violations can result in a failing grade on an assignment, in a course, and even suspension or expulsion from an institution. The UAF Student Code of Conduct defines academic standards expected at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Exactly what plagiarism is and how it can be avoided is often confusing. It is possible to plagiarize material unintentionally by incorrectly paraphrasing. To avoid this pitfall let's first look at a definition and then link to some examples.
plagiarize \ 'plaje,riz \ vb -ed/ -ing/ -s [plagiary + -ize ] vt: to steal and pass off as one's own (the ideas or words of another) : use (a created production) without crediting the source <a learned book of his...had been coolly plagiarized and issued in short version --Times Lit. Supp.> ~ vi : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
FROM: Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, (Springfield, Ma: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1986, p.1728).
To see how this definition works in practice let's look at Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University which shows some excellent examples of plagiarism, how appropriate credit can be given to sources, and how passages can be rewritten using our own words and thoughts to avoid plagiarism.