1. What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is representing someone else's ideas, writing or other intellectual property as your own, and is another form of academic dishonesty.

Any use of the work of others, whether published, unpublished or posted electronically (e.g., on web sites), attributed or anonymous, written or spoken, must include proper acknowledgment.

You can find full definitions of plagiarism and other forms of conduct that are regarded as serious academic offences in the University of Regina's Regulations Governing Discipline for Academic and Non-academic Misconduct.

2. Common Types of Plagiarism
Plagiarism can take many forms. Some of the most common types of plagiarism include1:

  • Downloading or buying research papers (Downloading a free paper from a web site or paying to download a paper and submitting it as your own work)
  • Copying and Pasting (copying and pasting portions of text from online journal articles or websites without proper citation)
  • Copying or submitting someone else′s work (copying a paper/lab report/formula/design/computer code/music/choreography/assignment etc. and submitting it as your own work)


3. University of Regina Regulations
The University of Regina Regulations Governing Discipline for Academic and Non-academic Misconduct provide further information about plagiarism, including the following:

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty in which one person submits or presents the work of another person as his or her own, whether from intent to deceive, lack of understanding, or carelessness. Unless the course instructor states otherwise, it is allowable and expected that students will examine and refer to the ideas of others, but these ideas must be incorporated into the student’s own analysis and must be clearly acknowledged through footnotes, endnotes, or other practices accepted by the academic community. Students’ use of others’ expression of ideas, whether quoted verbatim or paraphrased, must also be clearly acknowledged according to acceptable academic practice. It is the responsibility of each student to learn what constitutes acceptable academic practice. Plagiarism includes the following practices:

  • not acknowledging an author or other source for one or more phrases, sentences, thoughts, code, formulae, or arguments incorporated in written work, software, or other assignments (substantial plagiarism);
  • presenting the whole or substantial portions of another person’s paper, report, piece of software, etc. as an assignment for credit, even if that paper or other work is cited as a source in the accompanying bibliography or list of references (complete plagiarism). This includes essays found on the Internet.

Students who are uncertain what plagiarism is should discuss their methodology with their instructors.

4. Why Document Your Sources?
It is very important to document your sources. Here are a few reasons why2:

  • Strengthens your work/writing
    Citing a source through paraphrasing or quoting demonstrates that you have researched and incorporated your findings into your own argument. You also demonstrate that you are aware of other academic opinions on the topic.
  • Documenting Sources Shows Respect for Intellectual Property
    Citing shows respect for the creators of ideas and arguments honouring thinkers and their intellectual property.
  • Citing is a Service to the Reader
    Citing enables the reader to locate the sources of information and pursue further reading or investigation on the topic.
  • Serious Consequences if you do not Document your Sources
    Any violation of academic honesty can result in serious consequences, ranging from a written disciplinary warning to expulsion from the university, depending on the extent and nature of the offence.


Within the academic community plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are seen as very serious offences, as illustrated by the following statement:

"It would be impossible to think of any greater insult to the integrity of an academic institution or to an academic community than that of dishonesty whether it is called intellectual dishonesty or fraud. One can therefore sympathize with the desire to uncover it and treat it with the condemnation it deserves when it is thought to exist."
Krever, J. in Hajee v. York University, 11 OAC 72, 1985

 Next Topic: Demonstrating Academic Integrity

1 Harris, R. A. (2002). The plagiarism handbook: Strategies for preventing, detecting, and dealing with plagiarism.
Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, p. 13.

2 Harris, R. A. (2002). The plagiarism handbook: Strategies for preventing, detecting, and dealing with plagiarism. Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, p. 35.