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Citation Guide: Avoiding Plagiarism

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Some great advice from the Butler University Libraries on how to avoid plagiarism:


  • It's easy to take something out of context if you only read a portion of it! If you read the entire source, you should have a better feel of the author's meaning.


  • Anytime you note something word-for-word, immediately place it in quotation marks. Also note what page or section you found it on.
  • On each page, make sure you note the original source and the date you accessed the source. This will make citation much easier, especially if you are working with multiple sources or doing research over a long stretch of time.
  • Try not to mix your own thoughts and commentary with excerpts from your source. Keep them on separate pages, draw two columns on your page, or switch your pen color.
  • If you find it difficult to take notes with electronic sources - or if you find yourself drawn to the copy-paste method - print out your sources and deal with them in print form.


  • In order to do this, you must not procrastine on your projects. If you don't have sufficient time, you won't do your best work, and it may lead you to make poor decisions when including your sources. Remember, if you get caught plagiarizing, the situation or your intentions won't be an excuse. Build in time to synthesize and properly work in your sources.
  • Identify which sources are best for inclusion. Understand when you have to cite. Then decide whether you should directly quote, summarize, or paraphrase. If you are directly quoting, double-check your notes against the source for accuracy. If you are summarizing or paraphrasing:
    • Make sure the source is fresh in your mind, but not right in front of you. If you see the original text, you are more likely to want to use their terms and sentence structure.
    • Check your writing against the original. Remember, you should have changed the sentence structure and the language but the meaning of the source should still be the same. Any language that is unique to the source should be placed in quotation marks or removed. You may find it necessary to do several edits.


  • If you need a second opinion, ask!  Ask a librarian, a classmate, the Writing Center, or your professor

Retrieved from: on Aug. 9, 2016.

NCC's Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

Academic Dishonesty & Plagiarism

Academic dishonesty, which includes plagiarism and cheating, will result in some form of disciplinary action that may lead to suspension or expulsion under the rules of the Student Code of Conduct.

Cheating can take many forms including but not limited to copying from another student on an examination, using improper forms of assistance, or receiving unauthorized aid when preparing an independent item of work to be submitted for a grade, be it in written, verbal or electronic form. Anyone who assists or conspires to assist another in an act of plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty may also be subject to disciplinary action.

Plagiarism is a particular type of academic dishonesty that involves taking the words, phrases or ideas of another person and presenting them as one's own. This can include using whole papers and paragraphs or even sentences or phrases. Plagiarized work may also involve statistics, lab assignments, art work, graphics, photographs, computer programs and other materials. The sources of plagiarized materials include but are not limited to books, magazines, encyclopedias or journals; electronic retrieval sources such as materials on the Internet; other individuals; or paper-writing services.

A student may be judged guilty of plagiarism if the student:

(a) Submits as one's own an assignment produced by another, in whole or in part.

(b) Submits the exact words of another, paraphrases the words of another or presents statistics, lab assignments, art work, graphics, photographs, computer programs and other materials without attributing the work to the source, suggesting that this work is the student's own.

Allegations of student plagiarism and academic dishonesty will be dealt with by the appropriate academic department personnel. It is the policy of Nassau Community College that, at the discretion of the faculty member, serious acts will be reported in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students, where such records will be kept for a period of five years beyond the student's last semester of attendance at the College. These records will remain internal to the College and will not be used in any evaluation made for an outside individual or agency unless there is a disciplinary action determined by a formal ruling under the Student Code of Conduct, in which case only those records pertaining to the disciplinary action may apply. A student whose alleged action is reported to the Office of the Dean of Students will be notified by that office and will have the right to submit a letter of denial or explanation. The Dean will use his/her discretion in determining whether the alleged violation(s) could warrant disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct. In that case the procedures governing the Code of Conduct will be initiated.