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Foundations of Higher Education 100 (FHE 100)

Guide designed for West Coast University's FHE 100 class.

What is Plagiarism?


To represent oneself as the author of some work that is in fact the work of someone else is to plagiarize. Plagiarism may include the “passing off” of the form of the work—for example, the exact words of a piece of writing—or the intellectual content, or both.  Plagiarism "denies authors or creators of content the credit they are due" (APA, 2020, p.254).

Plagiarism exists as a serious social problem within the halls of Western academia. Only exceptional circumstances bring plagiarism of someone outside of academia to public attention. Plagiarism is an ethical, not a legal, issue and it does not equate with the breaking of copyright or patents, though at times both may also involve plagiarism. The advent of the World Wide Web and vast electronic databases brought this issue to the fore within academic institutions, resulting in new methods of both plagiarism and detection. The global nature of the Web and the increase in transcultural education through the movement of students and scholars has increased awareness of a cultural dimension to plagiarism.



American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Pickering, J.(2008). Plagiarism. In Encyclopedia of social problems.

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