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Film and Film Criticism

What is Plagiarism?

Definition of the word "plagiarize" from the American Heritage Dictionary:
"To reproduce or otherwise use (the words, ideas, or other work of another) as one's own or without attribution".

 Definition of the word "plagiarism" from the Oxford English Dictionary:
"The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft".

Paragraph on plagiarism from the SCSU Student Handbook, 2022-2023:

"Plagiarism is defined as presenting, as one's own, the ideas or words of another person, for academic evaluation, without proper acknowledgment.  Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to: (i) copying sentences, phrases, paragraphs, tables, figures, or data directly or in slightly modified form from a book, article, or other academic source without using quotation marks or giving proper acknowledgment to the original author or source; (ii) copying information from Internet Web sites and submitting it as one's own work; (iii) buying papers for the purpose of turning them in as one's own work; and (iv) selling or lending papers to another person for submission by that other person, for academic evaluation, as his or her own work."

Consequences of Plagiarism

Plagiarism - intentional or unintentional - constitutes academic dishonesty. Presenting someone else's ideas or work as one's own is equivalent to lying and is a breach of scholarly ethics which is often subject to serious consequences. Since students enrolled in college courses are continually engaged with other people's ideas through text books, lectures, class discussions, or other sources, it is very important to give credit where it is due to preserve intellectual honesty. 

Procedures for addressing allegations and sanctions regarding academic misconduct at SCSU (as defined in Section I.D.1) for University Students are outlined in Section II of the Student Code of Conduct. These sanctions may include the following: warning, written reprimand, discretionary sanctions, suspension and/or expulsion, as described in II.D of this Student Code of Conduct.

Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism

  1. Begin your research early and do not procrastinate. When you are in a rush you may fail to include all the information needed to document the source or you may even fail to cite the source.
  2. Keep careful notes. Keep track of all information you need to document your sources. 
  3. You must always document any words or ideas that is not your own. Outside sources include books, web sites, periodicals, databases, radio or television programs, films, plays or other performances, images, songs, interviews, speeches, lectures, letters and correspondence (including e-mail), videos, and government sources. Plagiarism could even occur with a word or phrase.
  4. If you are quoting word for word from someone make sure to enclose the quotation within quotation marks. Do not omit any word(s) when quoting unless you have followed your citation style's specific instructions for doing so.
  5. When you paraphrase or summarize someone else's idea or work, make sure to include a citation to the original source.
  6. Cite every source that you used in your paper in the bibliography/works cited/reference list. Every source that you used in your list should be cited in your paper. If you did not use a source, remove it from the list.
  7. Information that is common knowledge need not be documented. Common knowledge is information that everyone knows such as widely known news events, famous people, geographical facts, familiar history, and cliches or common sayings. (Example: Washington D.C is the capital of the United States). However, if you are not sure whether something is common knowledge or not, it is best to provide documentation.
  8. Get familiar with the citation style that your instructor requires. Click on the Library Citation Style tab in this guide for help with the commonly used citation styles.
  9. When in doubt, check with your instructor. They are the one that has assigned the paper and will know what's expected.

How Can I Tell if I'm Plagiarizing?

5 Types of Plagiarism

5 types of plagiarism