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For a good discussion on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, see the
Colorado Writing Guides page on Understanding Plagiarism.

Here are my own rules on plagiarism, 1, 2 and 3.

If any parts of an assignment handed in to me are found to be silently
copied from textbooks, web-sites or other sources, whether word-for-word
or with alterations, I shall treat this as plagiarism (Icel. ritstuldur), and give
a zero grade (F) for that assignment. For a first offense in the first year, I may
allow the assignment to be rewritten. After the first year, it's never the first offense.

If you are quoting, you must clearly show which sentences or parts of
sentences are taken from your source, using quotation marks or offsetting a
paragraph. Failure to do this constitutes plagiarism. Quotations must be
fully referenced with author, title, and page numbers. If you are quoting from
web-sites you must state the URL and the date on which the site was accessed.
See my Stylesheet for suggestions on how to do this.

Remember that plagiarism is a punishable offense according to the rules of
the university, according to Icelandic law, and according to international law.
The rules laid down by the School of Humanities on plagiarism are to be found
here :

and in English:


Finally, even if you are referencing correctly,

always ask yourself, "Should I really use this quotation?"

Remember that quotations should not replace your own writing; but rather illustrate or occasion points you are making. Admittedly you are not plagiarising if you quote correctly, but you may still be guilty of letting other people do your work for you.
    Sometimes, a writer says something so strikingly that you want to share their wording with your readers. When this happens, do it decisively:

        These "stylistic contiguities", as Andrew Wawm calls them (2006:475) .....

But if you are using the writer's wording instead of your own, even if your code of referencing is impeccable, you are simply being lazy. There's no point in taking the English BA if you're not prepared to flex your linguistic muscles. At this level, nobody's going to be interested in your copy-paste skills.

pk, 28 August 2003
Updated 4 May 2009

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