Plagiarism is taking credit for someone else's work and is a very serious offense. To avoid plagiarism, you must cite your sources (both in-text and on your References page) and learn to correctly paraphrase and quote.
Paraphrasing is putting a passage in your own words. Changing a few words is not paraphrasing.
Quoting is copying a passage word for word. Quotation marks must be present to avoid plagiarism. You should use quotes sparingly.
"In 2000, the clothing company launched a new line aimed at the teen and preteen demographics. Ten years later, sales and brand recognition have increased for those demographics, but sales for the adult collection have decreased. A new advertising campaign is currently being formed to bolster sales of the adult line" (McAllister, 2010, p. 2).
During the past ten years, the popularity of the younger lines has increased while sales for the adult lines have decreased. This prompted the clothing company to design a new advertising campaign (McAllister, 2010).
The clothing company launched a new line in 2000 designed to attract preteens and teens. During the next ten years, sales have increased for preteens and teens, but sales of the adult collections have fallen. To rectify this, a new advertising campaign is currently being created (McAllister, 2010).