Plagiarism - Research - NICC Library at Northeast Iowa Community College
Skip to Main Content


Plagiarism and How to Avoid it

What is plagiarism?

  1. An act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author.
  2. A piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorized use or imitation.


  • Understand what plagiarism is.
  • Paraphrase the source into your own words
  • Learn the difference between direct quotes, paraphrasing, and summarizing
    • Look under writing-> Notetaking Tips for more information
  • Take clear notes and use quotations when needed
  • Know when to quote a source, especially when directly taken from a source
  • Note that changing someone else's words around or merely substituting synonyms for their words is still plagiarism.
  • Cite every source of information you use in your paper unless it is common knowledge or the results of your own research.
    • If you are unsure if it is common knowledge ask an instructor, tutor, or librarian. 
    • When in doubt: cite it anyway
  • Remember to cite EVERYTHING.
    • If you are using any source of public/published information (i.e. an internet source, meeting minutes, a previous paper you have written) make sure to source it!
  • Make sure you plan enough time for your assignment(s)!
    • Most plagiarized documents are done because of a lack of time/time management.

For more information on how you can avoid plagiarism, Click Here!

Dishonesty and Cheating

Dishonesty and Cheating

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in any course at NICC.  Plagiarism and other forms of cheating are examples of such dishonesty and will result in serious consequences.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • use direct quotes without quotation marks and textual citation of the material;
  • paraphrase without crediting the source;
  • present another's ideas as their own without citing the source;
  • submit material developed by someone else as their own (this includes purchasing or borrowing a paper or copying a disk);
  • submit a paper or assignment for which so much help has been received that the writing is significantly different from their own.

Information is taken from the NICC College Catalog 2012-2013, p. 59

Links for Guides on How to Avoid Plagiarism

How to Avoid Plagiarism - Tips For Students

Plagiarism: How to avoid it. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2015, from Bainbridge State College