SMU Graduate & Professional Programs Policy


What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone else's words, ideas, or data as one's own. When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific citations, as well as quotation marks if verbatim statements are included. By placing their name on work submitted for credit, students certify the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgements ("Academic Dishonesty," Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Catalog and Student Handbook).


Plagiarism is a very serious academic and ethical issue. Most universities impose penalties on students or staff who plagiarize, whether the plagiarism is deliberate or inadvertent.A few students plagiarize in an attempt to cut corners or to cover academic deficiencies. Other students, unfortunately, plagiarize because they don't understand the concept of plagiarism and the methods for avoiding it. In either case, students are held accountable for their actions, and the penalty could be as severe as dismissal from the institution. Follow the rules of citation and documentation carefully, and make sure you understand what is meant by paraphrasing.


Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s work as your own. If you use another author’s words you must attribute the work to its original source (its author, composer, etc.).

  • If you borrow an idea from, or directly quote from, another person’s work, you must cite the source of that idea or quote.
  • Phrases borrowed word-for-word from another author must be placed in quotation marks and followed by the page number from the original source.
  • You must cite a source even if you don’t quote directly from it.
  • Paraphrase with care. Inadequate paraphrasing can be another form of plagiarism, even with documentation provided.

In APA style, a citation consists of author’s last name and date of publication. A full citation appears on the References page.


Online Resources

Avoiding Plagiarism

Purdue University OWL

Examples of Plagiarism

Princeton University

Avoiding Plagiarism

DePauw University


Dartmouth College


University of North Carolina

Plagiarism: What It is and How
to Recognize and Avoid It

Indiana University

What is Plagiarism?

Indiana University. Can you recognize plagiarism? Take a quiz!

Avoiding Plagiarism- Mastering the Art of Scholarship

University of California, Davis

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Northwestern University. Great examples!