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How to Recognize Plagiarism

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The academic community highly values the acknowledgment of contributions to knowledge.

When you properly acknowledge the contributions to knowledge made by other people, you are showing respect for their work. You are giving credit where credit is due. You are not misleading the reader to believe that your ideas are solely your own.

Thus, avoiding plagiarism is important -- both in writing and speaking. This tutorial will help you to understand and recognize plagiarism.

This tutorial is divided into sections:

You can also jump directly to any of these sections within the tutorial by clicking on links in the sidebar to the left. It often takes 1-2 hours to complete this tutorial and pass the test. If you believe that you already understand plagiarism, you can take a 5-minute quiz or practice tests for a self-check. This tutorial, however, goes into much greater depth and provides more practice with feedback. The test you must pass to earn the certificate is also more difficult.

The disciplinary consequences of documented plagiarism at Indiana University can be severe. As a student you could receive a failing grade, or be expelled from the university. In extreme cases, your degree could be revoked if plagiarism is discovered after you have graduated.

Individuals and organizations outside Indiana University are welcome to use this tutorial for any non-profit educational purpose. For example, you may print and distribute this tutorial for classroom activities, make a hyperlink to this tutorial on your Website, direct or require your students to take this tutorial, etc., without asking for written permission. If your institution is using these materials, we would appreciate that you let us know -- not to ask permission but just for our information. You can send this acknowledgement to Ted Frick.


This tutorial site was developed by the Instructional Systems Technology Department in the School of Education at Indiana University Bloomington to offer students a chance to learn to recognize plagiarism.


This tutorial does not attempt to teach citation and reference styles. The examples, practice, and test use APA style, but the purpose of the tutorial is not to teach APA style itself.

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