Black's Law Dictionary defines plagiarism as "[t]he deliberate and knowing presentation of another person's original ideas or creative expressions as one's own; the wrongful appropriation of another's expression of ideas, or of the ideas themselves, by slight variation of expression...." Plagiarism, Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019). Although Black's Law Dictionary's first clause identifies plagiarism as "deliberate and knowing," plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. You can even plagiarize yourself! In today's world of cutting and pasting, it can be easy to commit plagiarism.
The University of Cincinnati Student Handbook describes plagiarism as:
It is also a violation of the College of Law Honor Code to plagiarize. The Honor Code states that "[e]ach assignment must be the product of the student’s own efforts" and that students cannot knowingly have "plagiarized material or in some way represented another’s work as the student’s own..."
According to The Legal Writing Institute, students should use the following rules:
1. Acknowledge direct use of someone else’s words.
2. Acknowledge any paraphrase of someone else’s words.
3. Acknowledge direct use of someone else’s idea.
Careful scholarship, which is especially important in an academic setting, requires adhering to two additional rules:
4. Acknowledge a source when your own analysis or conclusion builds on that source.
5. Acknowledge a source when your idea about a legal opinion came from a source other than the opinion itself.
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