Students’ Guide to Preventing and Avoiding Plagiarism

Students’ Guide to Preventing and Avoiding Plagiarism

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines Plagiarism using another’s words and ideas and passing them on as your own. Words, ideas, or knowledge are considered the Intellectual Property of the original author. U.S. Copyright Law protects the author. When others, including students, use an author’s work and present it as their own without giving proper credit, they are dishonest, and this leads to plagiarism. Over the past years, with the increase in the use of technology and the Internet to research and write term papers, students have discovered how much easier and faster it is cut and paste online information with little regard to citing sources. As a result, plagiarism is on the rise. Statistics from research and online plagiarism detection services, such as Plagiarism.Org, support this fact. See for more statistical information.

LIU Post plagiarism policies
Most educational institutions have codes of conduct that are in place to deal with academic honesty. Plagiarism is usually included in these policies. Following are the various policies currently in effect at the LIU Post Campus of Long Island University:

From the Student Handbook (2012-2013, p.40-41), "Academic Conduct"

"The following standards of academic conduct are designed to foster the highest ideals of academic integrity. These standards, or set of responsibilities, are intended to clarify expectations for students and instructors. Listed after each one is a description of activities that violate that standard. Adherence to these standards by all members of the campus community promotes excellence in teaching and learning." [Definitions and descriptions are adapted from the UCLA Statement of Academic Integrity in the Department of Student Affairs]

"Academic Respect for the Work of OthersPlagiarism: representing in any academic activity the words or ideas of another as one’s own (whether knowingly or in ignorance) without proper acknowledgement. This principle applies to texts published in print or on-line, to manuscripts, to your own work, and to the work of other students. Acts of plagiarism include but are not limited to:paraphrasing ideas, data, or writing (for instance, from web or online databases, books, periodicals, monographs, maps, charts, pamphlets, and other electronic sources), even if it constitutes only some of your written assignment, without properly acknowledging the source; or using someone’s words or phrases and embedding them in your own writing without using quotation marks and citing the source; orquoting material directly from a source, citing the source on the bibliography page, but failing to mark properly the author’s text or materials with quotation marks and a citation; or submitting as your own part of or an entire work produced by someone else;transferring and using another person’s computer file as your own; orobtaining papers, tests, and other assessment material from organizations or individuals who make a practice of collecting papers for resubmission; or using visual images, dance performances, musical compositions, theatrical performances, and other digital resources (PowerPoint presentations, etc.) as your own without proper acknowledgement."

"Academic Self-RespectFacilitating Academic Dishonesty: assisting another to cheat, fabricate, or plagiarize, including but not limited to:allowing another student to copy from you; or providing material or other information to another student with knowledge that such assistance could be used in any of the violations stated above (e.g., giving test information to students in other sections of the same course); or taking a quiz, exam, or similar evaluation in place of another person; orsigning on the attendance sheet the name of a student who is not present." "Academic HonestyCheating: Improper application of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids, including but not limited to:obtaining unauthorized prior knowledge of an examination or part of an examination; or using resources or instruments on academic tasks not explicitly permitted by the supervising instructor (e.g., textbook, notes, formula list, calculator, etc.); orusing any electronic device in an academic exercise or examination that is not explicitly authorized by the supervising faculty. This includes but is not limited to the Internet, cell phones, beepers, iPods, headphones, PDAs, and other wireless handheld devices; or altering an exam or paper after it has been graded and requesting a grade change; orcollaborating by sharing information or requesting assistance, when such collaboration has been explicitly prohibited by the instructor; or making use of another person’s data or work without proper citation in an assignment; orallowing another person to take a quiz, exam, or similar evaluation for you; orsubmitting work with identical or similar content in concurrent courses without permission of the instructors; or resubmitting a work that has already received credit with identical or substantially similar content in another course without consent of the present instructor." "Academic OriginalityFabrication: falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic activity, including but not limited to:crediting source material that was not used for research; orpresenting results from research that was not performed; or altering data to support research; orpresenting fabricated excuses for missed assignments, tests, or classes; orfalsifying documents or records related to credit, grades, status, or other academic matters." "Academic FairnessSabotage: this is understood as stealing, concealing, destroying or inappropriately modifying classroom or other instructional material of another, such as posted exams, library materials, laboratory supplies, or computer programs."
From the Graduate Bulletin (2012-2013, p. 13-14), "Academic Irregularities"

"In cases of academic irregularities or dishonesty in examinations or class work, responsibility for disciplinary action is governed by the faculty policy contained in the Academic Conduct Policy. "Plagiarism and cheating are not only serious violations of the rules, but also may reflect adversely on the student’s reputation as well as on the reputation of the Campus. Faculty, administrators and the student body share responsibility for academic integrity. A student in violation of accepted academic procedures may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the Campus. Faculty members will report to the Academic Dean any case of irregular or dishonest behavior that occurs in the class or in his or her observation. Students may likewise make such a report to the faculty member or dean. The Academic Dean will decide what disposition is to be made of the charges. Requests for appeals may be made to the Student/Faculty Appeals Board.

"In the case of a minor infraction that is the student’s first disciplinary offense, the Dean may authorize the faculty member to dispose of the charges, limiting the maximum penalty to failure in the course. The faculty member will make a report of the incident and the action taken to the dean and the Judicial Affairs Coordinator.

"In the case of a major infraction, or in the case of repeat academic offenses, the student may be subject to suspension or expulsion from the Campus. If current non-academic disciplinary action is pending for a student, further disciplinary action may result, up to and including expulsion from the Campus."

Review: What constitutes plagiarism?

  • Turning in another person’s work as your own, and this includes a paper from free website
  • Copying a paper, an excerpt, a paragraph, or a line from a source without proper acknowledgement (these can be from a print source, such as a book, journal, monograph, map, chart, or pamphlet, or from a nonprint source, such as the web and online databases
  • Taking materials from a source, supplying proper documentation, but leaving out quotation marks
  • Paraphrasing materials from a source without documentation of that source
  • Purchasing a paper from a research service or a commercial term paper mill
  • Sharing or swapping from a local source (from student papers that were previously submitted)
  • Creating invalid or faked citations

What will happen to you if you plagiarize?
You may have to:

  • Repeat the assignment
  • Fail the course
  • Face possible suspension

How can you avoid plagiarizing?
Acknowledge sources by giving credit. If you don’t, intentionally or not, it is plagiarism.

What are some sources that need to be credited or acknowledged?
Books, periodicals, pamphlets, charts, statistics, maps, interviews, television, radio, Internet, online databases, and many other types of material. When credit is properly attributed, you reduce the chance of plagiarizing.

Some tips on preventing plagiarism:
Be organized – from the onset of a research project, establish order while gathering information. This will help to alleviate confusion and problems, especially when the time comes for the bibliography, works cited, and reference pages to be prepared.

Use a note card to identify the following:

Source (citation) – common sources:Book: Author, Title, Publisher, Place and Year of publicationPeriodical: Author, Title of Article and Periodical, Year, Vol. Issue and Pages Internet: URL/Web Address, Author ,Title, and the Date site was accessed Quotes – note the page numbers, enclose quoted material in quotation marks, and include a link to the source. Paraphrasing/Summarizing – in your notes, indicate points and ideas in your own words and, again, create a parenthetical reference to the source. To cite, use the Citation Style page on the Library Homepage:


If the information is factual or well documented, (e.g. John F. Kennedy was a democrat), then it not imperative to cite. If the information requires credit or documentation, cite it. Information on the Internet, including research papers from paper mills, is available to all (student and professor). Professors are experts in their fields, and knowledgeable about current and past research.
If you need additional assistance consult:

Your professor The LIU Post Writing Center, located at; 299-2732, Humanities Hall, room 202. Tutorial Services on the web at
By adhering to the five principles of the ethos statement: "respect for oneself, respect for others, respect for property, respect for authority, and honesty," charges for ethical misconduct such as plagiarism can be prevented.

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