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Plagiarism: understanding and avoiding: CC: Student conduct policies

When must I cite?

  • When you use an exact quote from a research source 
  • When you paraphrase someone else’s ideas (you must still give them credit)
  • Changing a few words here & there is not paraphrasing – you must re-work content to use your own words.  And, it’s still someone else’s idea and you must give them credit
  • Definitely when you “copy & paste” from a research source

Why should I cite?

  • You’re avoiding allegations of plagiarism – very important!
  • You’re recognizing the work & words of someone other than yourself.
  • Your sources help establish credibility for your topic/position.
  • You’re demonstrating that you have done some scholarly research and your sources help establish credibility for your topic/position.


Reusing your work from one class in another class is known as "self-plagiarism."

Why does self-plagiarism matter?

Say you submit a paper for a class and receive a good grade. Next semester you submit that same paper again for a different class and receive another grade.

You just received two grades, but you only did the work once. Self-plagiarism is essentially a form of dishonesty.