Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Islamic Studies Resources: Avoiding Plagiarism

Vanderbilt Resources on Plagiarism

Addtional Web Resources on Plagiarism

  plagiarism, n.

The practice of taking some else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.

-DERIVATIVES: plagiarist noun, plagiaristic adjective

- ORIGIN: early 17th century; from Latin plagiarius 'kidnapper' (from plagium 'a kidnapping', from Greek plagion) +ism.¹

"plagiarism noun"  The Oxford Dictionary of English (revised edition). Ed. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson. Oxford University Press, 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Vanderbilt University. 12 March 2010 <>

What's the Big Deal?

In this culture, we consider our words and ideas intellectual property: like a car or any other possession, we believe our words belong to us and cannot be used without giving credit.

Therefore, whenever you write a paper that requires research, you must tell your reader where you obtained any ideas or assertions that are not originally your own. Whether you quote directly or summarize the information, you must acknowledge your sources by citing them. In this way, you give that person credit for the work s/he has done.

Types of Plagiarism

Regardless of your intent, each of the following constitutes plagiarism:


checkmarkDirect Plagiarism -- including a verbatim quotation without a proper citation

checkmarkParaphrasing without a citation...passing off the ideas of others as your own

checkmarkThe inclusion of graphics, tables, charts or web pages without proper acknowledgement

checkmarkDouble dipping -- turning in the same paper for more than one class

See the "Citing Your Sources" Tab for more information about how to credit your sources.

Some tips to help you avoid accidental plagiarism include:


checkmarkStart your research early -- procrastination can lead to last minute stress & sloppy work

checkmarkKeep notes or a bibliography of the sources you consult as you go -- it is easier than reconstructing it at the end.

checkmarkVisit the Writing Studio for help on  incorporating your evidence & sources into your paper.


If you're still not sure about what plagiarism is try one of the tutorials below.