What's Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's words, sentences, or ideas and passing them off as your own without giving proper credit to the original source.

You might be plagiarizing if you:

  • Submit someone else's work as your own.
  • Buy a paper from a website or other source.
  • Copy sentences, phrases, paragraphs, or even ideas from someone else's work, published or unpublished, without giving the original author credit.
  • Copy any type of multimedia (graphics, audio, video, Internet streams), computer programs, music compositions, graphs, or charts from someone else's work without giving the original creator credit.
  • Cut and paste together phrases, ideas, and sentences from a variety of sources to write an essay.
  • Build on someone else's idea or phrase to write your paper without giving the original author credit.
  • Submit your own paper in more than one course without permission of the teachers.


Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. NHTV regards plagiarism as academic dishonesty. Consequences of plagiarism include failing an assignment, receiving a lower course grade, and even failing a course. Sanctions for plagiarism differ by faculty.

What isn't plagiarism ?

Common knowledge does not need to be cited. (Citing means giving basic information about the original source you used so that someone else could track it down.) Common knowledge includes facts that are known by a lot of people and can be found in many sources. For example, you do not need to cite the following:

  • In 1865, following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson was elected as the 17th President of the United States.
  • William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and he died in 1616.
  • A genome is all the DNA in an organism, including its genes.