According to the University Policy on Academic Integrity, plagiarism "is defined as the use of work or concepts contributed by other individuals without proper attribution or citation. Unique ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged in academic work to be graded. Examples of sources expected to be referenced include but are not limited to:
- Text, either written or spoken, quoted directly or paraphrased.
- Graphic elements.
- Passages of music, existing either as sound or as notation.
- Mathematical proofs.
- Scientific data.
- Concepts or material derived from the work, published or unpublished, of another person."
Plagiarism at Carnegie Mellon
In academic life, plagiarism can include failing to cite references in your work or not attributing ideas contained in your work to the original source of those ideas. It can occur when students cut and paste material from a web resource directly into their assignments or when they sample graphic or music files without attribution. Putting someone else’s ideas into your own words also requires the appropriate citation or it constitutes plagiarism.
Of the 293 total number of academic integrity violation reports that were submitted to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs during the 2014-2015 academic year, 14% were cases of plagiarism that carried a range of consequences. However, it is important to know that plagiarism is 100% avoidable and there are many strategies that both students and instructors can employ to prevent these types of violations from happening.