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Information and best practices on avoiding plagiarism in academic writing.


Plagiarism is the "appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit." 1 In other words, plagiarism is a type of fraud. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Often those who plagiarize do so not because they intend to steal or appropriate another's work but because they do not understand every suitable way to treat information they use.2

Some common types of intentional and unintentional plagiarism:

Image adapted from the University of Michigan's plagiarism guide. 6

Plagiarism Consequences

Plagiarism is considered a form of intellectual dishonesty and can amount to fraud/theft of intellectual property in the eyes of academic institutions, communities, and publishers. This can have a number of consequences for KUMC students, faculty, and researchers, including:

  • Re-doing an assignment
  • Failing a course
  • Expulsion from an academic program
  • Publication loss or retraction
  • Losing a job
  • Reputational damage

While the most common type of plagiarism is generally unintentional, ignorance of the proper way to cite sources of information is not a valid excuse. Citing information is a common requirement in academic and scientific writing and failure to do so will have dire consequences on the validity of a researcher's work and their professional reputation.

Online Resources

"Avoiding Plagiarism" - GCFLearnFree -

"What Is Plagiarism?" - Scribbr -





3. Model taken from Rebecca Moore Howard, "Plagiarism, Authorships, and the Academic Death Penalty," College English 57 (Nov. 1995), 788-806.

4. Ibid., 799.

5. Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook, (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1998), 572.