What is it and How to Avoid it

This site is excellent: thorough and user friendly.

What is plagiarism?

Simply put, plagiarism is when you present work, including ideas, as if they are yours, when in fact you have taken them from somewhere and they are someone else's words or ideas.

You plagiarize, when you:

copy text directly from a source and don't put quotations around it and indicate who said or wrote it;

take ideas about something and present them as if they are your ideas;

take information from a number of sources and change some of the words, but use the sentence structure and/or layout of your sources, so that really the structure of the writing has been crafted by someone else.

To avoid plagiarizing:

Take effective notes;
work to understand what you are reading; if you don't understand it, don't write it down
take brief point-form notes
use your own words as much as possible
don't copy and paste
record your sources as you go,
record quotations carefully

For Teachers

BCTLA Ethics of Information Use Poster: outlines the essentials

Great article from Jamie McKenzie, the person who coined the phrase "information glut" in the context of today's online research challenges.

The New Plagiarism: Seven Antidotes to Prevent Highway Robbery in an Electronic Age