As a student at the University of Alberta, there is only one definition of plagiarism you need to understand, and it comes from the Code of Student Behaviour:
30.3.2(1) Plagiarism: No Student shall submit the words, ideas, images or data of another person as the Student’s own in any academic writing, essay, thesis, project, assignment, presentation or poster in a course or program of study.
While it looks straight-forward, there are a number of things in this definition that are important to understand:
- Any time you hand in something with your name on it, it is presumed to have been generated entirely by you unless you indicate otherwise.
- Any content you use that you did not generate yourself (ideas, graphics, photographs, charts, statistics, etc.) must be cited.
- While plagiarism in written work is certainly the most common, it is also possible to use others’ words, ideas, images or data in any kind of assignment: oral presentations, blogs, paintings or graphic arts, even interpretive dance!
- Our definition of plagiarism does not take into account whether or not the act was intentional. The onus is on the student to make sure that all borrowed work is cited. Accidentally forgetting to cite a source is still plagiarism.
- The definition of plagiarism applies to group projects as well. If one person includes plagiarized materials in the project, the entire group has submitted the work under their own names.