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Citing your sources / Avoiding Plagiarism > Avoiding Plagiarism

This guide offers useful tips on how to use the information retrieved from your research appropriately.

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Bibliothèque - Polytechnique Montréal
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Montréal (Québec) H3T 1J4
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What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is:

  • "the act of taking another person’s creative work and […] passing it off as your own;
  • "using a text passage, image, item of data, etc. from an external source and integrating it into your own work without citing the source;
  • "paraphrasing an idea from the work of another author without crediting the source" (A translation from the Direction des bibliothèques de l’Université de Montréal, 2011).
  • "tak[ing]  (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass[ing] it off as one's own." (Oxford, 2014)

An unofficial translation from: Direction des bibliothèques de l’Université de Montréal. (2011). Droit d’auteur et plagiat. Retrieved from

Plagiarize. (n.d.) In Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved from

How to avoid plagiarism?

  • To avoid all forms of plagiarism, including accidental plagiarism, systematically note the source of all information you retrieve from your research. For example, if you copy/paste a text found on the Internet, put it between quotation marks and immediately jot down the information required to cite the source.
  • If you deem it necessary to cite a passage from a hard copy or electronic document, put the passage in quotation marks and indicate the source. However, it should be noted that in Science and Engineering, it is recommended that you paraphrase (in your own words) the information you wish to use. If you paraphrase the text, there is no need for quotation marks; however, you must still cite the source.

REMEMBER! Regardless of whether you choose a word-for-word quotation or decide to paraphrase the idea, you must always credit the source.

Is plagiarism punished?

At Polytechnique Montréal, plagiarism, which is considered a form of fraud, is strictly forbidden. For more information on the subject, consult the appropriate section of the Règlements des études du baccalauréat en ingénierie (in French only) or the Graduate Studies General Regulations.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Citing Your Sources

Managing Your References

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