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How to Avoid Plagiarism

You can avoid plagiarism by referencing your sources carefully. You MUST give credit when you use content from other sources, including:

  • statistics, images, graphs, music, art, video clips
  • words, quotations, phrases
  • the ideas, theories, and opinions of others

Giving credit means letting your reader know clearly where you found the information and who its author or creator is. Learn the citation or reference style required for an assignment by your instructor-- APA, MLA, and Chicago are the most commonly used citation styles at NIC. 

Remember, if you want to quote another's work, word for word, use a direct quote properly formatted with a citation.

If you want to paraphrase or summarize someone else's work, read the passage, put it away and then write your own summary. Be sure to check that your work does not resemble the original source too closely. Be cautious about how you paraphrase and summarize another author's work. You must write in your own words and be careful not to just rearrange words or phrases from the original source.