Do Improperly Cited Sources = Plagiarism?



My son wrote a paper and did attach sources to the paper, but he did not follow the proper citation required. Is this plagiarism?



Hi GP,

Thank you for your email and inquiry! Without knowing the complete details, it sounds like your son simply mis-cited the sources. His teacher/instructor would likely see this is an editing error and not necessarily plagiarism. When determining whether a student plagiarizes, intent does matter. That said, however, there are some teachers who insist on students diligently following a set of formatting and citational guidelines. I'm not sure where your son's teacher stands on his/her policies, but it would be good for him to discuss the guidelines with his teacher before beginning the assignment, especially so if there is some confusion about the requirements themselves.

Hope this helps!