iv The Idea of an Essay: Volume 4 Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It What is Plagiarism and Why is it Important? In college courses, we are continually engaged with other people’s ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lecture, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into our own writing. As a result, it is very important that we give credit where it is due. Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information. How Can Students Avoid Plagiarism? • To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use • another person’s idea, opinion, or theory; • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge; • quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or • paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words. These guidelines are taken from the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.