Random House Webster's Dictionary Definition of Plagiarism:
1) "The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's original work."
2) "Something used and represented in this manner."
Denton ISD's Definition of Plagiarism:
1) Directly quoting or paraphrasing another's spoken or written work without giving them credit.
2) Presenting someone else's idea, theory, or formula, and calling it your own.
3) Buying or receiving in any other way someone else's paper or other assignment and claiming it is yours.
4) Repeating information, such as statistics, which is not common knowledge, without giving the source credit for that information.
Notice that Denton ISD's definition of plagiarism expands beyond ideas and the written word to include theories, formulas and specific statistics.
(For more information about Denton ISD's policies regarding plagiarism, go to the main DISD Web Page and click on the "Student Code of Conduct" button on the lower left part of the screen. Then advance to the article entitled "Denton ISD Academic Integrity Policy", which begins on page 49 of the document).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it OK if I buy a pre-written paper off the Internet and turn it in for my assignment?
A: No, that is plagiarism. Teachers and professors often use services such as TurnItIn.com that can tell them whether a paper has been purchased over the Internet. Denton ISD has very strict disciplinary guidelines concerning this type of activity.
Q: Is it considered plagiarism if my friend writes my paper for me?
A: Yes, that is plagiarism.
Q: Why does all this matter anyway?
A: There are really three main reasons:
1) The ethical reason: plagiarism is just an "easy out" that only makes things worse for you in the long run, since it can ruin your reputation and cost you a job or other legal problems.
2) The practical reason: the District has very strict disciplinary policies regarding cheating and plagiarism.
3) The personal reason: How would you feel if you spent hours and hours on a project, only to have someone steal your work and claim it is theirs?