Skip to Main Content

South Kingstown High School Library and Learning Commons: Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is considered a form of intellectual theft and fraud. It involves using someone else's words or ideas and passing them off as your own by not providing credit, either deliberately or accidentally. However, it can also involve reusing your own work from a previous course, and passing it off as new work.

Plagiarism can include:

  • Copying and pasting from a source without enclosing the text in quotation marks and providing a citation.
  • Summarizing or rewording someone else's ideas without providing a citation.
  • Reusing an assignment you submitted for a previous course.This is called self-plagiarism.
  • Submitting an assignment completed by someone else.
  • Collaborating on an assignment with a classmate or friend on an assignment meant to be completed individually.
  • Writing a paper that strings together quote after quote or paraphrases, even if cited correctly. Your work must include your own original expression of ideas. To add originality to your assignment, include your own critical analysis, interpretation, and examples.
  • Incorrect paraphrasing. When a paraphrase too closely resembles the original it is considered patchwriting. 

Plagiarism can be:

  • accidental - accidental plagiarism happens when you are not sure when to cite, paraphrase or quote. This tutorial is meant to help you understand when you need to cite! 
  • blatant - this type of plagiarism happens when you purposefully use another person's words and try to pass them off as your own.
  • self - self plagiarism occurs when you reuse a paper you wrote in a previous semester for a different course. You must submit original, new work for each course! 
Even if you don't intend to plagiarize, you may accidentally stumble into the trap of plagiarism. This is called Accidental Plagiarism. And it could happen to you if you've not mastered publication ethics. This video has some tips on how to avoid accidental plagiarism. If you can think of any more ways by which one can avoid accidental plagiarism, please share your views in the comments section. [Editage]. (2013, Mar 22). Editage - Tips to avoid Accidental Plagiarism. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Punishable Perils of Plagarism

This video, created by Melissa Huseman D'Annunzio and animated by Hache Rodriguez for TED-Ed summarizes various common forms of plagiarism in a humorous way. Huseman D'Annunzio, M. [TED-Ed]. (2013, June 14). The punishable perils of plagiarism. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Real Life Consequences of Plagiarism

Acceptable vs Unacceptable

Watch this funny video from the University of Alberta to understand how certain behaviors that are acceptable outside of school, are unacceptable at school.


University of Alberta and Townend Films. "Acceptable/Unacceptable." YouTube, 18 Dec. 2013,

Thank You!!

Thank you to Columbia College in Vancouver, Canada for the great resources to avoid plagiarism and increase academic integrity.