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Plagiarism and Documentation
Plagiarism can be defined as using someone else’s words, ideas, images, or data without properly acknowledging the original source. Plagiarism is a serious offense and is a violation of this College's Student Code of Conduct. Examples of plagiarism include:
- copying exactly someone else’s work without acknowledging the original source
- altering someone else’s words, ideas, images, or data and presenting them as one’s own
- paraphrasing someone else's words without acknowledging the original source
- claiming as one’s own work that was created, altered, or revised by someone else
- copying exactly someone else's work, acknowledging the original source, but omitting quotation marks
- obtaining a paper from a research service, a "term paper mill," or a "free term paper" website
Penalties for committing plagiarism are at the discretion of the classroom instructor; however, they may include disciplinary sanctions such as a failing grade for the assignment, a failing grade for the course, or dismissal from college.
Plagiarism can be avoided by using information in an ethical way. Documentation ensures that the original creator of a source is properly acknowledged each time his or her words, information, ideas, or images are used in another work.
Proper documentation is done both in the text of a project and in a works cited or references list at the end of the project. This serves several purposes, including:
- providing complete publication information for a source
- giving credit to the original creator of a source
- enabling the reader to more easily find the original source
- providing a standardized style for recording that information.
Each and every time information is taken from a source (whether it is taken as an exact quote, re-worded, or paraphrased) and used in a research project, credit must be given to the original source of information. Typically, that is done in two ways:
- parenthetical, or in-text citations provide a brief notation of the author, date and/or page number
- lists of references, or works-cited provide complete publication or other information that would allow the reader to locate the complete source
Most research projects require both in-text citations and a list of works at the end of the project (aka a bibliography).
Check with your instructor to determine which style is required for your research project. The handouts linked here provide examples for documenting the most commonly used types of resources. (You will need Adobe Reader to view or print the first four PDF documents below):
APA Print & Media Sources
Use this for help citing print books and periodical articles, audio and video recordings, and speeches.
APA Online Sources
Use this for help citing websites, online books and periodical articles, e-mail, and digital files.
Use this link from the University of Wisconsin Writing Center for help citing print, media, and online sources.
MLA 8 Print & Media Sources
Use this guide for help citing print books and periodical articles, audio and video recordings.
MLA 8 Online Sources
Use this guide for for help citing websites, online books and periodical articles, audio and video recordings.
Citing Sources from Databases
OWL at Purdue
This is a great resource for all aspects of MLA and APA style - creating your works cited entries, in-text citations, and formatting your paper.
An MLA citation generator that allows you to enter a URL to create the works cited entry.