I've seriously never encountered what I just have, nor have I had to ever ponder this before. I am taking an international business class where we have to write six papers and six journals. I am currently writing my third paper and am now stuck here. One of the criteria for the last paper I wrote was to explain the cultural components in international business. Further breaking down the components, I had to write about learning language in international business, so I did about three paragraphs on that. Now I am writing a completely new paper and one of the criteria is to do what I just said I did in the last one regarding language. I'm sitting here thinking: do I seriously repeat myself? Can I even? In this case, what exactly is expected of me when the same thing is being requested to be written essentially back-to-back?

I just want to make sure it is clarified, this is the same course. This is not about re-using content from one paper in one course and asking to use it in another.


2 Answers 2


There are two issues to consider, self-plagiarism and meeting the course requirements.

The existing answer deals effectively with the self-plagiarism issue. If you quote and attribute just as you would for something written by someone else, you are not plagiarizing.

Even so, your paper might get a poor grade for not meeting course requirements. It would be unusual to set two exercises such that quoting the first one is sufficient for the second. For example, you may be expected to go into more depth.

Consulting the professor is the best solution to that issue.


The correct way to use your old work and protect yourself from a charge of self-plagiarism is to treat your old work just as you would any other piece of related work. In other words, quote yourself properly and provide a proper reference to the old work.

This actually simplifies your job since you don't need to say everything again, or try to come up with a new way of saying it.

Presumably the new task isn't identical to the old, so you make the new arguments as usual and just use your old work as a reference to support the new work.

The main idea, really, is to make it clear where and when and with whom the ideas originated.

  • 1
    It is exactly identical as the former. The first was to explain language and he second is to explain language. I'm just going to send an email to my professor and put the paper on hold. It's the last thing I have to write that is keeping me from finishing it. Thanks.
    – Paul
    Jul 19, 2018 at 1:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .