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What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a type of intellectual theft that involves "appropriating [copying] someone else's words or ideas without acknowledgment." Source: Plagiarism. (2001). In Encyclopedia of Ethics. Retrieved from

Plagiarism can include, for example:

  • forgetting to cite another's ideas, words or theories
  • improper paraphrasing, quoting or summarizing (too close to the original source)
  • copying word for word or copying images
  • self-plagiarism: submitting one piece of work (or a large section of the work) for multiple courses
  • buying a paper online, or from a friend
  • cutting and pasting from online sources


Plagiarism is theft, whether intentional or not. As a student, your academic integrity depends on having others respect your work. A student's academic conduct is very important, and North Island College takes cases of plagiarism very seriously. Depending upon the seriousness of the offense, students who plagiarize may receive a score of zero or a grade of 'F' for an assignment, or may be suspended from a course, program, or from the College entirely.