Plagiat Version française

During your studies, you are required to produce work into which you incorporate other people's ideas, which you find in the literature you consult.   However, referring to other authors' theories is not without risk: certain principles must be upheld, otherwise you risk being accused of plagiarism.

ULB Libraries have created a tutorial to teach you how to properly integrate and reference outside information in your personal work, and thereby avoid plagiarism.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism means "Use of the writings of others without acknowledgement of borrowing."(1) Plagiarism is therefore a form of theft, of stealing ideas and theories belonging to other people: by avoiding mentioning their sources, fraudsters attribute ideas to themselves, to the detriment of their creators.

Concrete examples of plagiarism include:
  • Copying a passage word for word from a book, journal or web page without putting it in inverted commas and/or without citing the source
  • Inserting images, graphics, data, etc. from external sources into a piece of work without stating where they come from
  • Summarising an author's original idea by expressing it in your own words, but failing to state the source
  • Translating part or all of a text without citing where it comes from. Using another person's work and presenting it as your own (even if that person has agreed to it) (2).
If you are found guilty of plagiarism, you may incur sanctions ranging from simple rejection of your work to total deferral (complete cancellation of the exam session), or even exclusion from the University. Powerful software is now available to detect work containing plagiarised material and is being used successfully at ULB.

(1) Translation of the definition of the Office québécois de la langue française, Grand Dictionnaire Terminologique, viewed on 27/03/2019
(2) UQAM libraries on the topic of plagiarism: UQAM Library Services - Plagiarism page, viewed on 27/03/2019

How to avoid plagiarism

You need only follow a few rules. There are two methods: citation and paraphrasing.

Citation: you reproduce the author's ideas

  • If you are copying or translating textual material: place the text in inverted commas and provide an accompanying bibliographical reference that is sufficiently comprehensive to allow your source to be easily identified (i.e. at least the author's name, the title and the date). This reference can for example be given in full in the footnotes and/or be cross-referenced in these footnotes to a full bibliography at the end of your essay.
  • You also need to provide the full bibliographical reference when copying non-textual material (illustrations, graphics, statistical data, etc.).
  • These rules apply regardless of where you found the material you have copied (a book, newspaper article, website, online journal, etc.).
Recommandations for the presentation of bibliographical references -  For the attention of Science students (in French).

Paraphrasing: you relate the author's ideas in your own words

  • Paraphrasing means completely rewriting the passages you are using, changing the vocabulary and grammatical structure. Paraphrasing does not mean translating a passage word for word or using synonyms.
  • Even when paraphrasing, you must include the bibliographical reference of your information source.

Fighting plagiarism

How can we fight student plagiarism, believed to be an increasingly common practice at a time when countless electronic textual resources are available to them at the click of a mouse?
The information you need is available on the staff portal (in french).

Find out more

Several sources were used to write this page. These sites include detailed explanations on citing your sources correctly and mastering the art of paraphrasing: