How to Avoid Plagiarism


Have you ever wondered if you inadvertently plagiarized someone else's work when writing a paper? Plagiarism is taking another person's work or ideas and presenting them as your own. The following examples of plagiarism are listed at the Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism, courtesy of (

  • Quoting or paraphrasing material without citing the source of that material. Sources can include Web sites, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, journals, TV and radio programs, movies and videos, photographs and drawings, charts and graphs; any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Quoting a source without using quotation marks -- even if you do cite it.
  • Buying a paper online or downloading a paper from a free site.
  • Copying or using work done by another student.
  • Citing sources you didn't use.
  • Turning in the same paper for more than one class without the permission of both teachers. 

The next steps are to learn how to avoid plagiarising. Your teacher is the best source for how he or she wants the paper written and cited. Begin by taking careful notes and summarize what you've read in your own words. Record the name of each source, where it was found, page numbers, author or editor, and the date material was accessed, if from an online source. When citing sources, be sure to distinguish between material that is a direct quote (with quotation marks) or paraphrased, utilizing parenthetical citations or worked into your sentence structure. All sources must be listed in your bibliography or works cited page, using the approved formatting style. (Most CBHS teachers require MLA formatting style.) 

Helpful Guides (click on the title of each guide)

  • Nine Things You Should Already Know About Plagiarism | An informational tool brought to you by the Office of the Provost, the Office of Academic Integrity Programs, and the Integrity Council, with special thanks to the First-Year Composition Program, Department of English | University of Oklahoma
  • | Purdue University Online Writing Lab