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Citation Guides: Avoid Plagiarism

Formatting papers using APA or MLA styles

Types of Plagiarism

Intentional plagiarism

  • Buying a paper in any form (online or from another student)
  • Hiring or letting someone do your assignment for you
  • Stealing or "borrowing" all or part of someone else's work (even if you have the author's permission)
  • Cobbling together a paper by copying and pasting from different sources without citing any of it
  • Submitting the same or a similar assignment more than once (it may have been original the first time, but the second time you're plagiarizing yourself!)
  • Selling papers or allowing others to copy your work is also subject to academic penalties

Plagiarism by improper citations

  • Copying something word for word but not using quote marks (even if you cite it, it's still plagiarism)
  • Using significant ideas and concepts from someone else without a citation-even if you put them into your own words (called paraphrasing), you need to give credit
  • Paraphrasing too closely by making only small changes to a passage, still retaining the same structure and words as the original (even if you cite it!)
  • Citing a source you didn't actually look at

What is Plagiarism?

"The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft. (Oxford English Dictionary online, 2006)

  • Give credit when you use other people's content in your academic work.
  • Your assignments and exams must be your own original work, not someone else's.

UCN Academic Dishonesty Policy

The University College of the North's Academic Calendar, Section 6.02 reads as follows:

"UCN will act to encourage academic honesty. Academic honesty is the basis for the development and acquisition of knowledge. UCN considers any form of academic dishonesty to be a severe offense, destructive to the values of UCN. Academic dishonesty is also discouraging and unfair to those students who pursue their studies with academic honesty.

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to misrepresentation with the intent to deceive with regard to the accuracy of statements, reports or findings; distorting or concocting lab or shop results, reports or projects; unauthorized aids in examinations; giving or receiving inappropriate assistance in academic work, examinations, labs or shops; aiding another student's academic dishonesty; and plagiarism. It should also be noted that "giving inappropriate assistance" also includes not safeguarding one's work, so that it is available to others for misrepresentation.

Plagiarism is defined as the intentional misrepresentation of the intellectual work of another as one's own. It includes but is not limited to essays, compositions, theses, creative writing, reports, reviews, lab reports, projects, computer programs, experimental data, drawings, charts, plans, musical compositions, and works of art.

All instances of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of zero for the assignment or occurence, and could be grounds for suspension from the course. Instances of multiple infractions of academic dishonesty may result in suspension from UCN for a period of 12 months as of the date of the infraction.

Any decision regarding academic dishonesty may be appealed."

University College of the North 2013-2014 Academic Calendar, p. 17.

Plagiarism: How to Avoid It

Plagiarism Detectors

Here are some web sites that may check your work. The sites are not guaranteed to detect duplication:



Plagiarism Detector