Citations & Plagiarism

With the ever-increasing accessibility of information, plagiarism becomes easier and easier for students each day.  It can take many forms, and some might be even be unintentional—a student may simply use a source too closely without paraphrasing.  Or, in more severe cases, they may buy or copy an paragraph, a page, or an entire paper.  Regardless, these actions are plagiarism.Tutor Claire Abent is working with a student.

To avoid plagiarism, keep careful notes while researching, and mark everything that was someone else’s words with quotation marks.  Take notes as you work, rather than copying and pasting from a source, and save all your research materials in case questions arise.  Record your documentation material immediately—don’t write the paper figuring that you’ll go back later and add the citations in (this is a common problem we see in the Writing Center).

Remember that a bibliography alone is not enough—you will need to include in-text citations within the work, even when you are paraphrasing.  Become familiar with your department’s preferred citation style (usually MLA or APA) - it will make citing easier and less time-consuming.  See the sources below for help with citation style.

Students: Remember two things most of all.  1) Your professors are very intelligent, and they’ve been reading and writing papers longer than you have.  They will know when you’ve plagiarized something!  2) Regardless of whether or not you think you’ll be caught, plagiarism is wrong.  It is stealing, and is as serious as if you had taken someone’s bike or car or wallet.  Please use the resources on this page to understand what plagiarism is and avoid it at all costs.

Here is link to NMU's Plagiarism Handbook.