Skip to main content

Transitioning to College : Use Information Responsibly, Ethically & Legally

Learn about plagiarism and steps you can take to protect yourself

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is stealing someone's words or ideas and claiming them as your own. It is obvious that turning in a paper written by someone else and saying it is your work is plagiarism, but plagiarism can also be very subtle.  For example, did you know that if you write a paper for your English class and then hand in the same paper for your Psychology class this is considered plagiarism? Yes, you can self-plagiarise. 

The best way to avoid being guilty of plagiarism is to learn as much as you can about what is considered plagiarism and the precautions you can take to prevent yourself from plagiarising. 

If you think professors are too busy to check your work this closely, think again! Many colleges and universities have software such as Turn It In that professors can use to detect plagiarism.  Professors also turn to the Internet or other free resources such as Plagiarism Checker

Learn more about plagiarism and academic honesty by exploring these websites.

Plagiarism Policies

Plagiarism is a serious offense that colleges and universities will not tolerate. Many cases of plagiarism are unintentional.  Be sure you understand what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it in your papers and projects. 

Colleges and universities have a statement about academic integrity in their student code of conduct or policies.  Students found guilty of plagiarism risk expulsion.  Here are a few examples.

Plagiarism: How to Avoid It

Brief video from Bainbridge College that reviews plagiarism, quoting sources, paraphrasing, and citing.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Need some help ensuring your paper is plagiarism free?  Consult these sources or talk to your teacher or librarian.

Learn to Cite Right

College professors will expect you to include a list of the sources you used and/or consulted to write your paper or complete your project.  There are many citation styles, but the two most common are:

Depending on the citation style used, the list of sources may be referred to as a works cited page (APA), references (APA), or bibliography. 

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers easy to access guides to help you create your citations.