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Library Resources for the USD - Sioux Falls: Plagiarism

This LibGuide is designed to help USD - SF students, faculty and staff locate and access library resources.

What is Plagiarism?

According to the South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 3:4 

Plagiarism (which) is defined as, but is not limited to, the following:

  • the use, by paraphrase of direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement consistent with accepted practices of the discipline

  • the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

Common Knowledge

Common knowledge: facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by a lot of people.


•Barack Obama was the President of the United States from 2008-2016
•Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
•Tires are made from rubber compounds

This is generally known information or “common knowledge” and therefore, you do not need to document this fact.

Types of Plagiarism


Mixing words or ideas from an unacknowledged source in with your own words or ideas.
Mixing together uncited words and ideas from several sources into a single work.
Mixing together properly cited uses of a source with uncited uses.

Direct Plagiarism

A phrase or passage that is copied word for word, but not quoted.

Insufficient Acknowledgement

Half crediting source; whereby you acknowledge the author’s work the first time, but continue to use the author’s words without giving additional attribution.


Rephrasing another person’s work and inserting into your own work without acknowledging the original source.

Citing Your Sources

When to cite:

  • Anything that is printed, spoken or sung (except facts or common knowledge)

  • Unusual phrase borrowed from a speaker or writer

  • Photos, drawings, charts, graphs, etc.

  • Someone else's unpublished research findings

Also, check out the LibGuide below for additional information . . .

Tips & Tutorials

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Write your own summary without looking at the original text, but remember to cite your sources.

  • When taking notes, write down the source information and put it next to the notes so you can easily cite the source.

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to write your paper.

  • Don’t just copy ideas and words from a source – record your own reactions and thoughts as you do your research. This will give you starting points when you write your paper.

Ignorance doesn't excuse plagiarism. Learn about plagiarism from this quick FAQ about myths and realities concerning copyright law:

Plagiarism Overview Slide Show

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