Plagiarism is when you fail to indicate when you are using someone else’s ideas, whether you’ve quoted the idea directly, or if you’ve rephrased it into your own words. Either way, you must cite your source clearly, so that a reader can identify where you found your information. If you don’t do this, it is considered plagiarism, and is taken very seriously by the University of Houston – Downtown.
The university's policy on plagiarism and other topics are covered by UHD’s Academic Honesty Policy.
A direct quotation is the use of an author’s specific words, placed within quotation marks, with an appropriate citation. Here is an example, cited using the APA citation style:
Albert states that “Some 21st-century cardiologists trace the physical effect of extreme emotions (most notably grief) on the heart” (2009, p. 519).
If you use an author’s exact words you MUST put those words within quotation marks, and you MUST use an in-text citation to indicate the source of the quotation.
An indirect quotation is the use of an author’s information or ideas, rephrased into your own words. Indirect quotations are NOT presented within quotation marks, but still must be indicated through the use of an in-text citation of the source of the quotation.
Here is an indirect quote, cited in APA citation style:
The popular image of Cleopatra is of a ravishing beauty, but coins commissioned by her show an unflattering image of a woman with a large nose (Holland, 1997, p. 14).
Note that when using indirect quotes, even though you are using your own words, you are presenting someone else’s ideas, therefore you must cite your source.