Anglistisches Seminar Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Siegel der Universität Heidelberg

[««]   [»»]

Plagiarism: A brief definition

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged citation, paraphrase, or summary of another’s words – that is, if you do not indicate that you are citing or paraphrasing (i. e., by using quotation marks in the text and/or a corresponding entry in a bibliography), then you are plagiarizing. The source of plagiarized material is unimportant – the words could be taken from primary or secondary literature, reference works, dictionaries, or from the Internet. It is also important to note that copying, imitating, or paraphrasing the structure or order of another’s argument also counts as plagiarism.

Plagiarism includes the following:

  • Copying text from another source into your paper without putting it in quotation marks and citing it appropriately
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing the work of others without citing the ideas as theirs
  • Including images, charts or other graphics in your paper without citing their sources
  • Using ideas or information (such as statistics) developed by others without reference
  • Turning in a paper you did not write yourself

Plagiarism is a very serious offence: it is the most extreme case of academic dishonesty, and is also a violation of the intellectual property rights of others. Committing plagiarism can have very serious consequences, from being given a failing grade on your assignment or in your class, up to expulsion (Exmatrikulation).  Deliberate plagiarism is considered cheating and as such is a violation of the Landeshochschulgesetz as well as the regulations of the university. See the university’s official “Satzung zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis” available at  for specifics.

Cases of suspected plagiarism in the Anglistisches Seminar are adjudicated according to guidelines established by the Honor Board.



Letzte Änderung: Föhr am 11.August 2015
Verantwortlich: Föhr