Plagiarism Tutorial

The way to avoid plagiarism is to develop at set of good habits. The choice to plagiarize happens when a person is not sure of how to answer a particular assignment, has poor time management skills, or does not know what exactly constitutes plagiarism.

Luckily, all of this can be avoided!

Read through this graphic novel and the accompanying information and you will not only get a lot of helpful advice, but you will also get to hear about the many people on campus who are here to assist you. Your assignments can be positive learning experiences.


  • Read the assignment CAREFULLY. You want to make sure you understand what your professor wants you to do. If you do not understand this you might still write a really good paper - but it will receive a low grade because it is not paper you were asked to write.
  • ASK QUESTIONS. If you do not understand the assignment you should ask your professor to clarify. Also, your peers and the WRSL consultants (Writing, Reading, and Speaking Lab – located in Pathways) might be helpful resources for you.
  • Make a plan for when to complete this assignment. You will most likely have several assignments to complete simultaneously, and will need to PLAN your time in order to do a good job on each assignment. Use your planner, phone, etc.
  • Make a WRSL appointment if need be. The WRSL can assist you in thinking through the assignment, creating an outline, developing a structure, clarify the organization etc.

What can you learn from your peers?

  • Many of your peers have already in high school developed great study habits; ask them how they plan their days, how many hours they study etc.
  • One of your peers might already know how to do citations… ask for his help.
  • You can learn the negative consequences of playing video games all day.
  • You can learn about their experiences with the ARC, SI, the WRSL, and the Math Lab.


  • Procrastination is one of the reasons why some students plagiarize, they end up having too little time to do proper research and think about their assignment.
  • Some students perform well under the pressure of a deadline. That does still not mean that this is the BEST way for them to work.
  • Motivate yourself with little rewards. “When I have read 35 pages I get to eat an ice cream”. Of course, it only works if you do not eat the ice cream regardless J
  • Make a study schedule with breaks and times to eat, etc. We need to take care of our bodies in order to be good, effective students.
  • Seeking assistance from Counseling Services or a Pathways Associate can help you work on this problem.

When and where should you study?

  • It differs from student to student when and where each one studies most productively. It is important that you figure out what works for YOU.
  • Some students are most productive in the morning, others late in the evening – it all depends on your personality. Just make sure you plan your entire schedule to fit your patterns; if you have a morning class – don’t stay up very late the night before.
  • Some students study best in their room, others in the library – it all depends. You need to honestly reflect over where you seem to best concentrate and face the least distractions.
  • There is no such thing as multi-tasking; in order to do a good job studying, you need to focus.

How do I know if I have plagiarized?

  • The term plagiarism comes “from the Latin word Plagiarius (“kidnapper”), to plagiarize means “to commit literary theft” and to “present as new and original an idea or a product from an existing source.” “(MLA Handbook, 52)
  • In the academic community, which you, as a college student, now take part in, plagiarism is the ultimate sin which is punished with the academic death penalty = F. This stands for either Fired or Failed.
Four main types of plagiarism: 
  1. Repeating a text word for word without citing your source.
  2. Paraphrasing too closely.
  3. Repeating an idea or line of thinking without citing your source.
  4. Failing to give the complete data required when citing your source.

  • In order to make sure you have NOT committed plagiarism NUMBER ONE, make sure that you never repeat someone else’s text (whether it is from a book, news paper article, online material, or another student) without telling the reader of your paper where exactly you got that material.
  • In order to make sure you have NOT committed plagiarism NUMBER TWO, make sure you understand what it means to paraphrase. If the wording is too similar to the original text you will be charged with plagiarism. It is recommended that when paraphrasing you paraphrase only main ideas and use your own vocabulary – if this is not possible it may be a better idea to simply quote directly (which means citing word for word and letting the reader know the exact location of this quote).
  • In order to make sure you have NOT committed plagiarism NUMBER THREE, make sure you do not present any ideas you have from another source as your own.
  • In order to make sure you have NOT committed plagiarism NUMBER FOUR, make sure you know which type of documentation your professor is requiring (examples are MLA, APA, Turabian). To find this out you can ask your professor or perhaps look in the syllabus.
  • Possible consequences of committing plagiarism: failing the paper, failing the class, being brought in front of the honor council, in extreme cases of premeditated and systematic plagiarism, suspension or dismissal from the college. Certain consequence of deliberate plagiarism: cheating yourself out of the education you are paying for.