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Writing Center

If you are thinking: I’m worried about plagiarizing by accident

You aren’t alone! There is a lot of fear and confusion surrounding the plagiarism.

Plagiarism means taking the words or ideas of another person without letting your reader know. Writers let their readers know where ideas come from by using documentation.

In academic settings, claiming the ideas or words of others as your own is considered “stealing.”

So, in college plagiarism is seen as a form of “cheating” or “academic dishonesty.” As a result, the consequences of doing it (even by accident) can be serious. It’s important to understand exactly what it means so that you can be sure to prevent doing it by accident.

Take this Self-Test from the Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Plagiarism Resource Site to find out how much you know and to clarify your ideas about what might be plagiarism.