Certain misconceptions about plagiarism are common. This explanation is intended to dispel such misunderstanding and to make clear what constitutes plagiarism under University regulations. A person who uses as part of his own writing the words, ideas, arguments, or data of another person without acknowledging what he has borrowed is guilty of plagiarism:
Generally known facts (the day is 24 hours long; George Washington was the first president of the United States; Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, from an assassin's bullet) do not normally need acknowledgement because they are available in unvarying form from innumerable sources and have simply become common knowledge. A student in doubt as to whether information he/she is using need be formally acknowledged should consult his/her instructor for advice.
Plagiarism may result in failure of an assignment, failure in a course, or dismissal from the University.
See the Mississippi State student handbook for more information.
The above information was provided by the MSU English Department.