Plagiarism is the act of one person passing another person's work off as their own. Plagiarism includes everything from repeating someone's idea without properly citing the idea, to copying someone' elses's entire essay. You can avoid plagiarism by being sure to properly cite sources and by creating academic work that stems from your own unique ideas.
Originality and individual achievement are highly valued in America. This is reflected in the focus on original thinking in class discussions, research projects and papers. It is also reflectded in the rules of academic honesty.
The most important rule of academic honesty is that a student must be evaluated only on the basis of his or her own work. If students violate this rule by submitting the work of other people as their own, they are committing a serious offense which is called plagiarism.
Plagiarism may result in a student's dismissal from the College. Some clutures view issues such as plagiarism differently. It is very important for you to understand exactly what comprises plagiarism at an American univesrity. If you are ever in doubt about whether you may be committing plagiarism by using someone else's words or ideas and claiming them as your own, ask your professor to clarify the matter immediately.