Preventing Plagiarism: A Guide for Students

Plagiarism can be an intentional or accidental act, but, either way, you can suffer severe consequences. These consequences are covered in the University Judicial System section of the Millikin Student handbook.(Scroll to the part labeled "Academic Integrity Standards.") If you have additional questions about plagiarism, contact your class instructor.

Defining Plagiarism

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition defines the act of plagiarizing as: "To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own." or "To appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from (another). intr. To put forth as original to oneself the ideas or words of another."

Basically, plagiarism is cheating!

The following are all examples of plagiarism:

  • Copying the words of others, whether from a source or another student.
  • Putting your name on a paper written by someone else.
  • Purchasing or downloading a paper from the Internet and turning it in.
  • Paraphrasing (rewriting in your own words) a source and not documenting it.
  • Not using quotations marks properly when using material from another source.

Proper Citation Formats

Often one of the most difficult aspects of writing a paper is knowing how to properly integrate your sources. Many cases of plagiarism are unintentional and happen because the writer is unaware of how to properly incorporate and cite sources into the text. The following steps can help you make certain you have all the information you need to compile proper citations:

  • Make sure you have the complete citations for all your sources.
  • You must include both the URL and dated visited for Internet resources sited.
  • Keep careful records of your research. Note where in your paper you are using a particular resource.
  • Know what citation format your instructor wants you to use before you get started.

Here are Citation Guidelines that can help you prepare citations properly. Print versions of these, which are much more detailed, can be found in the library.

MLA Format

Guide to citations in MLA style from Millikin University's Writing Center.

APA Format

Guide to citations in APA style from Millikin University's Writing Center.

Chicago Style Manual

Guidelines for using the Chicago, or Turabian, style.