Merriam Webster Online notes that to plagiarize is "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (another's production) without crediting the source". The dictionary source also defines it as "literary theft." *
Essentially, plagiarism is taking someone else's ideas or words, intentionally or not, and presenting them as your own. This could be a quote or passage that you forgot to cite, an entire paper, or even ideas. Yes, ideas can be plagiarized! If you read an article and take the same stance as your own without crediting the article, that is also considered plagiarism. You are stealing someone else's position and ideas instead of creating your own. You cannot grow as a student, thinker, and person if you steal from someone else.
At Cairn University we have high academic standards and plagiarism can lead to failure of a course or a complete dismissal.
* "Plagiarism - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary." Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. Merriam-Webster. Web. 13 Sept. 2011. <http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism>