In academic writing, plagiarism is not giving the original author credit for his or her idea that you use in your paper. It is a form of intellectual theft and one of the most serious offenses in American universities.

Don't avoid plagiarism by just directly quoting everything you want to use. Check with the assistants at the Writing Center to learn how to paraphrase. And, yes, even if you paraphrase, you have to give credit to the person(s) and the work from which you got the idea.

Here are some great resources (some of which include interactive examples) to look at in thinking about how not to plagiarize:

Be sure to check out Baylor's Honor Code which discusses the penalties for plagiarism (and other academic violations) and don't forget to make use of our English Department's Writing Center and all the help they can give you.