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Let’s Talk Plagiarism: The Cheaters Don’t Get Ahead


Written by Samantha Hanlon, MA, PPS (Counselor, LALR)

Plagiarism is very serious. How much do you know about plagiarism? Admittingly, many of us do not know much about.  We may think we are writing a paper that is appropriate and based on our own thoughts. But how do we know for sure that we didn’t fall victim to plagiarism?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines plagiarizing as “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own:  use (another’s production) without crediting the source.”

Plagiarism is something that is not condoned in any school.  Nightingale College Catalog states: “Learners must not deliberately use another person’s ideas, work, evidence, or words and present them as their own original work, including coping text from websites, textbooks, journals, or any other published materials, without proper acknowledgement”.

When you plagiarize, you are stealing someone else’s thoughts.  While you may be thinking this article does not apply to you, are you sure? Many of us plagiarize and do not realize it.

Here are a few tips and some great websites to help you:

Plagiarism comic

  • Do not copy and paste. Even if you are changing a few words, you cannot copy and paste into your paper.
  • It is also possible to plagiarize your own work. Make sure you are not copy and pasting from another paper you have written!
  • If you are getting an idea from another source, your need to write it in your own words and you MUST cite the source.
  • It is important that you know the appropriate way to cite your sources using APA. Here is a great website to help you:
  • If you are unsure, ask your instructor or contact Learner Advising and Life Resources and we can help you.
  • You may also use free sources to check and see if you are plagiarizing.

Resources to Help Determine Plagiarism

The websites listed below are so easy to use.  You copy and paste a paragraph or your whole paper into the box and it will check immediately if there is any plagiarism in your paper. It is simple. It is quick. It is efficient.

For this website, you will upload your paper and it will check for plagiarism.

You should not rely solely on one of these websites.  Make sure you go over your paper yourself to check for plagiarism and always review the guidelines of plagiarism before starting your paper. A quick refresher crash course on the subject may be exactly what you need to ensure you do not get tangled up in the mess of plagiarism.

If you need help or would like to discuss plagiarism further, please contact Samantha Hanlon, Counselor in the Learner Advising and Life Resources Department.

References: Mariam- Webster Dictionary, Nightingale College Course Catalog

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