According to AU’s Student Handbook, it is “Appropriating the ideas, concepts, images (including but not limited to drawings, designs, or photographs) or language of another person and presenting them without attribution” (Violations of the Code of Academic Responsibility).
How Do I Avoid It?
Quote Your Source Properly
Quote a Source does a good job of explaining the right way to do this (University of Wisconsin’s Writing Center).
Paraphrase Your Source Properly
Paraphrase a Source does a good job of explaining the right way to do this (University of Wisconsin’s Writing Center).
Cite Your Source Properly
In academic writing, there are standard ways of citing sources called “styles.” The style an author uses will depend upon the audience. It will usually be someone like a course professor who will dictate what style to use for a paper or other kind of work.
APA is common for writing in the social sciences and some sciences. MLA is common for writing in the liberal arts and humanities. APA Citation Style and MLA Citation Style are favorites of the librarians at Landman Library for information about citing sources (OWL @ Purdue University).
What Is Not Plagiarism?
Arguably, equally important to knowing what is plagiarism is knowing what is not. Citing your sources or quoting exact wording with proper citation is not. Citing common knowledge is also not plagiarism.
Common Knowledge does a good job of defining common knowledge and offers examples (MIT).
Proper Attribution and the Internet
Everything on the Internet was created by someone. Take the time to figure out who authored the text or the image you want to use. Citation styles give options if you can’t find an author’s name.