Answered By: Brandi Porter
Last Updated: Sep 07, 2016     Views: 24

Brief Guide to Plagiarism

Article II of the Institution’s Code of Academic Integrity defines plagiarism as:

1.“Submitting a paper or answer in which the language, ideas, or thoughts are identical to published or unpublished material from another source without correctly giving credit to that source”

  • Student Handbook, p. 6
  • College Catalog, p. 12

Please refer to the Student Handout and Catalog for more information on the Code of Academic Integrity and the enforcement of this policy.


There are different types of plagiarism:

  • Direct Plagiarism: When you copy another person’s work, word-for-word, without citing it. Also, submitting a paper that someone else wrote and passing it off as your own. You are essentially presenting that information in a way that says you came up with it, it is a deliberate attempt at plagiarism.
  • Accidental or Unintentional Plagiarism: This happens when a person misquotes, paraphrases or fails to cite their sources (Most Instructors will have no idea that you plagiarized unintentionally, it will be considered plagiarism).
  • Self- Plagiarism: (Yes, you can even plagiarize yourself). This is when you use paper/assignment that was used for a certain course and you decide to use that paper/assignment to supplement another course with a similar assignment. If you feel that you should be able to use a paper/assignment you wrote for one class, to use for a different class, you would need to contact your instructor for permission.

When should you give credit?

  • Using a direct quote or copying something word for word.
  • Paraphrase an article or some ones idea
  • Using a picture, graph, video, or any type of media.
  • Information that is not common knowledge

Common Knowledge: You do not need to cite common knowledge. Common knowledge is something that the readers should generally know, such as who is the current President of the United States is.


When in doubt, cite!

(Or ask for help from your Librarian via chat or email:


However, plagiarism is not always black and white and there are some gray areas. The Owl at Purdue has a great section on plagiarism.

If you want more information about plagiarism and citing sources, visit:

This information is provided in a PDF version (at the bottom of the page) for you to save or print. 


You can also  find information about plagiarism by following these steps

  • Go to the library homepage:
  • Click on Writing & Math Center  on the left hand side and click on Writing Center.
  • Once in that guide, make sure you are in the "Writing tips" tabs (found on the left hand side) and find the box that says "plagiarism."