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Engineering Disasters and Liabilities: Avoiding Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using the work of others and pretending it is your own.  The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines plagiarizing as "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own" (emphasis mine).

It is plagiarism if you copy someone else's words without giving them credit.

It is plagiarism if you make only light cosmetic changes to someone else's words, such as using a synonym.

A Serious Issue

Your professors want to see your work--not someone else's.  This is your grade, so it needs to be your work. 

With Serious Consequences

At the very least you will not recieve credit for the work you turned in if it contained plagiarism.  If your plagiarism is severe and/or you do it multiple times you can be expelled from the university. 

How to avoid Plagiarism

Where to Go For More Information on Plagiarism and How to Avoid It

Purdue OWL: Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism from Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services

Citing Research and Avoiding Plagiarism from UTEP University Writing Center

Plagiarism Check

Websites (programs and softwares) used by many Educational Institutions for plagiarism check:


WriteCheck by Turnitin

List of some websites that offer free plagiarism detection:




Plagiarism Checker



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