Plagiarism is intellectual theft. It occurs when you use the words or ideas of others without acknowledging that you have done so. If you are aware of a source, use an idea or quotation from this source, and fail to cite it, then you have plagiarized—regardless of your intent.
- If you quote from a source, you must specifically mark the quoted material and immediately cite the source. Place the quoted text in quotation marks or format it as a block quotation. Your citation should appear at the point of quotation, either in parentheses or in a footnote or endnote. Listing the source in a bibliography does not, by itself, constitute proper citation; you must cite at the point of use.
- If you quote a distinctive phrase, or even a single distinctive word, place it in quotation marks and cite the source.
- If you paraphrase an idea or special information from a source, you must cite that source.
- If you use images, maps, charts, tables, data sets, musical compositions, movies, new-media compositions, computer source code, song lyrics, and the like, you must cite the source.
- If you find a solution to a problem on a website and use that solution—even if you use it just to teach yourself how to solve the problem—you must cite the source.
- If you want to submit the same work, in whole or in part, for more than one course, then, according to Dartmouth's Academic Honor Principle, you must get the approval, in advance, of all professors involved.
Citation styles and formats matter, but style and formatting errors do not constitute plagiarism. As long as you properly cite your source at the place where you use another's words or ideas, you are not plagiarizing. Once style and formatting errors are brought to your attention, you should correct them for the benefit of readers who might wish to trace your sources.
Just as there are consequences for theft of property, there are consequences for plagiarism. Because academic integrity is so fundamental to the Dartmouth community, students who violate this standard usually are suspended from the College—even upon a first offense and even if they did not intend to plagiarize.