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Research Handbook: Giving Credit

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According to the SUNY Schenectady County Community College Academic Code Policy 6.2.2 (2002, August 22), plagiarism is defined as

[t]he intentional or unintentional representation of another person's work as one's own. Examples include, but are not limited to

  1. Quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing another's work without appropriately acknowledging the source.
  2. Using another's research without acknowledging the source.
  3. Submitting another's paper, purchased or otherwise obtained, as one's own (p. 15).

Plagiarism is a violation of Academic Integrity.

According to the SUNY Schenectady County Community College Academic Code Policy 6.2.1 (2022, August 22)

Academic integrity is the foundation of institutions of higher learning, and students will act in accordance with the academic integrity guidelines of the College. The following guidelines apply to all courses offered by the College.

  1. Each student's work will be her/his own work.
  2. Each student will appropriately identify the work of others when it is incorporated into the writing of her/his papers, examinations, or oral presentations. This includes both direct quotations and paraphrased opinions and ideas....
  3. Each student will submit her/his work to only one instructor, unless she/he has the prior approval of all instructors involved. (pp. 14-15)


According to the SUNY Schenectady Community College Academic Code Policy 6.2.3 (2002, August 22)

The following are the College's guidelines for consequences for violating academic integrity, but the student must consult the course syllabus, since the instructor will determine the consequences for each course. Consequences may include, but are not limited to, one or a combination of the following penalties: 

  1. Oral or written warning. Deduction of points, grade of "F" or "0" for the assignment, project, or exam.
  2. Failure of the course. Disciplinary action by the Student Affairs Office. Results of disciplinary actions are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. (pp. 15-16)
  • In brief, plagiarism is using someone else's ideas without giving them credit
  • Whether you are using the ideas directly (such as a quotation) or indirectly (as inspiration, as a paraphrase, etc.), you need to acknowledge the original creator of those ideas through proper citation
  • We always want to thank the person who contributed to our work that we have done, and not doing so in academic and other arenas is considered plagiarism
  • Graphics, written material, audio such as songs or recorded voice, and any other representation of an idea or intellectual property are owned by the creator and deserve recognition when used by another
  • Giving credit to the source of the ideas or other intellectual property enables others to recreate the trail you took when creating your work
  • Giving credit acknowledges the contributions of others to your work
  • Giving credit enables those using your product to find out more from the source(s) you used
  • Always give credit through proper citation when using someone else's words or ideas
  • Quote parts that are taken "word for word" (verbatim) and state where it comes from
  • This also includes giving credit when you use ideas expressed in your own words or way

As Joanna M. Burkhardt, Mary C. MacDonald and Andree J. Rathemacher (2003) stated, "When in doubt about citing or not citing a source, always cite it. It is never wrong to cite your sources" (p. 43).

  • Credit is given in two situations
    • When quoting or paraphrasing the creator, credit is given in an in-text citation via a parenthetical citation, footnote, or endnote
    • When an item has been used for ideas for your project, whether or not it has been directly quoted or paraphrased, credit is given in the Bibliography, References, or Works Cited list

Always be careful to properly cite where you got your information and ideas, using the style guide indicated by your instructor. The most popular style guides used at SUNY Schenectady are:

  • APA
  • Chicago
  • MLA

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

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