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WSU 102 First-Year Seminar in Cross-Cultural Communication

Avoiding Plagiarism

Video Transcript

Student: So what is plagiarism?

Definition: plagiarism

Pronunciation: /ˈplājə rizəm/

The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.


According to: Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 10 May 2016., <>.

Student: Why is it so important?

It’s a matter of ACADEMIC HONESTY. As specifically stated in the Wichita State University Student Code of Conduct:  “Violations of classroom standards include: …Plagiarism, using the work of others as one’s own without assigning proper credit to the source.”

If you plagiarize you could…

  • fail the assignment
  • fail the class
  • be academically suspended
  • be expelled from the University

Beyond the university you could…

  • be sued
  • lose your job

Student: What’s to be done?

Dog: Cite your sources!

Student: Exactly what is a citation?

Dog: A citation is information that lets the reader know where you found your ideas, facts or quotations.

From: Turabian, Kate L.  A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers.  University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Student: Do I need to cite everything?

Dog: No

Student: Then how can I avoid plagiarism?

Always cite:

  • direct quotations
  • paraphrasing or summaries
  • arguable assertions (things that cannot necessarily be proven to be true)
  • statistics
  • media (including images, videos, icons, etc.)

Also Cite:

  • material that was particularly influential in informing your research
  • well known information, but especially well explained in a specific source

Unnecessary to Cite:

  • common knowledge   Example: The earth revolves around the sun.
  • your own ideas

Dog: When in doubt, cite it!

For more details, consult your librarian and the WSU Libraries guide on plagiarism.


Student and Dog: Thank you for watching!

If you have questions, visit us at the Reference Desk! Or contact us: (316) 978-3584

Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism Quiz

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