Published Date

January 1, 2007

This resource was developed as part of Plagiarism: Curricular Materials for History Instructors by Michael Rawson.


Print Sources

Anderson, Judy. Plagiarism, Copyright Violation and Other Thefts of Intellectual Property: An Annotated Bibliography with a Lengthy Introduction. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Company, 1998.

This annotated bibliography summarizes books and articles on plagiarism published between 1907 and 1995, with a heavy emphasis on the last five years of that period. The introduction is a useful guide to recent trends, and the entries provide a quick overview of some of the most important cases.

Buranen, Lise, and Alice M. Roy, eds. Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999.

This collection includes twenty-four short essays that explore definitions of plagiarism and their application in various academic settings. The introduction provides a good overview of postmodern thinking about plagiarism.

Hoffer, Peter Charles. “Reflections on Plagiarism—Part 1: ‘A Guide for the Perplexed.’” Perspectives 42, no. 2 (February 2004): 17–23,, and “Reflections on Plagiarism—Part 2: ‘The Object of Trials.’” Perspectives 42, no. 3 (March 2004): 21–25, (accessed January 11, 2005).

The first part of this two-part series offers a primer on plagiarism, while the second part explores the formal and informal ways that historians can respond to plagiarism. Hoffer reminds us that the purpose of taking action against suspected plagiarists is not just to secure punishment, but to educate all historians and avert future cases.

Howard, Rebecca Moore. Standing in the Shadow of Giants: Plagiarists, Authors, Collaborators. Stamford, Conn.: Ablex Publishing, 1999.

Howard, a teacher in composition studies, argues that “patchwriting” (copying text with minimal alterations) is an important part of the learning process for students, because evaluating and shaping a text in this way facilitates understanding of it. She argues that teachers and institutions should not consider patchwriting to be plagiarism unless a student means it to mislead.

LaFollette, Marcel C. Stealing into Print: Fraud, Plagiarism, and Misconduct in Scientific Publishing. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

LaFollette, a professor of science and technology policy, explores the impact of plagiarism, falsification of data, and other deceptive practices on scientific journals. Many of the issues she discusses have parallels in the humanities.

Lindey, Alexander. Plagiarism and Originality. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1952.

A much-referenced classic, Lindey’s work contains a wealth of information about past plagiarism cases. His definition of plagiarism is frequently cited, although variously interpreted. Despite the title, Lindey is as concerned with copyright infringement as he is with plagiarism.

Mallon, Thomas. Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism. New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1989.

This classic work takes a case study approach to the topic, devoting chapters to charges of plagiarism in the world of literature, a department of history, and even a television show. Mallon’s opening chapter explores the origins of our present understanding of plagiarism.

McKillop, A. B. The Spinster and the Prophet: Florence Deeks, H. G. Wells, and the Mystery of the Purloined Past. Toronto: Macfarlane Walter and Ross, 2000.

McKillop explores an early twentieth-century lawsuit in which a Canadian woman charged H.G. Wells with steeling the framework for his famous book, The Outline of History, from her unpublished manuscript.

Shaw, Peter. “Plagiary.” American Scholar 51, no. 3 (summer 1982): 325–37.

This well-known meditation on plagiarism explores its history and the ways in which academics and the public view it today. Shaw discusses, for example, how scholars remained unwilling to confront Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s extensive plagiarism for over a century.

Yanikoski, Charles S. “When the Trial Is the Punishment: The Ethics of Plagiarism Accusations.” Journal of Information Ethics 3, no. 1 (spring 1994): 83–88.

Yanikoski is most concerned with the rights of the accused in plagiarism cases, since the mere accusation of plagiarism can severely damage a career. He argues that accusers should resolve charges of plagiarism privately, either directly with the accused or through institutional mechanisms, and only make them public if the charges prove to be true.


An enormous amount of material on plagiarism is available on the Internet, much of it sponsored by academic institutions. The following sites are especially useful.

History News Network. Plagiarism: HNN Index (accessed January 11, 2005).

An archive of articles on cases of plagiarism specific to the historical profession.

University of Southern Mississippi Libraries. The Plagiarism Tutorial (accessed March 1, 2018).

An online tutorial that includes a series of quizzes.