How to Recognize Plagiarism
Choose between New and Old Tutorials
We have recently improved instruction in the Plagiarism Tutorial and Tests.
Make Your Choice
Click or touch a link below.
Information with link to the new improved tutorial: 2016 version
You are here.
Old unchanged tutorial: 2012-2015 version, expanded from original 2002 version.
Note: You can return to the old tutorial at any time, by clicking on the link in the footer on any page in the new tutorial. You will return to the new tutorial whenever you register or login to take a Certification Test.
Tutorial Home: Welcome!
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:
- The Indiana University Definition
- Overview: when and how to give credit; recommendations; decision flowchart
- Plagiarism Cases: links to Web sites describing real plagiarism cases
- Examples: word-for-word and paraphrasing plagiarism -- 5 examples each, followed by 15 patterns of plagiarism and 3 patterns of non-plagiarism.
- Practice: identify writing that avoids plagiarism
- Practice tests: identify word-for-word plagiarism, paraphrasing plagiarism, and non-plagiarism. Feedback is given on each answer.
- Certification test: if you pass, get a confirmation certificate by e-mail and for printing
- Certificate validation: for instructors and students to confirm that a particular test was passed, and for subsequent e-mailing and printing that unique Certificate.
- Resources: links to several useful websites for more on how to avoid plagiarism
It often takes 1-2 hours to complete this tutorial and pass the test. You can also jump directly to any part of the tutorial by clicking on links in the left sidebar.
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. Note, however, that item pools for Certification tests provided on this website are copyrighted by Indiana University and are not available for duplication or distribution elsewhere.
To acknowledge this tutorial and associated tests in APA style, we suggest this citation (Frick, et al. 2014), and this reference:
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 initially in 2002 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. See history and changes.
- Content Design: Theodore Frick, Elizabeth Boling
- Test Design and Software: Andrew Barrett, Theodore Frick, Cesur Dagli
- Interaction Analytics: Rod Myers
- Instructional Development and Formative Evaluation: Meltem Albayrak-Karahan, Joseph Defazio, Noriko Matsumura
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.