The 6th edition of the MLA Handbook (Modern Language Association) provides this information about plagiarism:


  • The word "plagiarism" comes from the Latin word "plagiarius" or "kidnapper"
  • It is defined as "the false assumption of ownership, the wrongful act of taking the product of another person's mind, and presenting it as one's own (from: Alexander Lindey, Plagiarism and Originality. New York: Harper, 1952.)
  • A plagiariszing author commits two wrongs:
    • intellectual theft, or stealing
    • fraud --using someone else's ideas for your benefit