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How to Detect Plagiarism: Home

This guide is created to show how to detect plagiarism using multiple resources as well as Lexis' SafeAssign software.

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What is Plagiarism?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, plagiarism is "the wrongful appropriation or purloining, and publication as one's own, of the ideas or the expression of the ideas of another." J.A. Simpson & E.S.C. Weiner, 11 The Oxford English Dictionary 947 (Clarendon Press 2nd ed. 1989). 

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines plagiarism as: "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own; ... to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source." Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 946 (11th ed. 2003).

Types of Plagiarism

There are many types of plagiarism, including doing any of the following without appropriate attribution:

  • Word-for-word direct copying
  • Paraphrasing
  • Copying the analysis of others without appropriate citation; i.e., citing to many or even all of the underlying references but not to the analysis itself
  • Copying structure or organization of an existing piece
  • Copying ideas or arguments of others

See Also...

Reference Librarian

Alex Zhang
S-134 Legal Research

University of Michigan Law Libary