A Few Words About Plagiarism
(excerpt from 2003-2006 West York MLA Style Guide)

Plagiarism is a form of cheating in which a writer presents someone else’s ideas or words as his or her own.  It is necessary for researchers to give credit and acknowledge the sources of their information.  While writing research papers, students are required to consult many different resources.  It is necessary while writing a research paper to quote, paraphrase, and summarize the words of experts, but the sources of the information must be cited.  According to Joseph Gibaldi in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Sixth Edition, “Plagiarism involves two kinds of wrongs.  Using another person’s ideas, information, or expressions without acknowledging that person’s work constitutes intellectual theft.  Passing off another person’s ideas, information, or expressions as your own to get a better grade or gain some other advantage constitutes fraud” (66).  Students should consult a teacher if they have any questions about how to cite sources of information.  Although not all plagiarism is intentional, it is still considered cheating and will be treated as such.

Plagiarism is a serious offense in any academic environment.  As stated in West York Area High School Handbook, “cheating is an act of academic dishonesty, which shows disrespect for self and others and shows a lack of responsibility to apply oneself to completing satisfactorily the course of study prescribed.  Evidence of cheating through admission or fact will result in disciplinary action, a grade of zero on that activity and may lead to a failing grade” (12).