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Citations & Plagiarism

Learn about citations & plagiarism here!

What is Plagiarism?

The information presented on this page will help you avoid accidental plagiarism.

What is plagiarism and why is it important?

Plagiarism is using other people's ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you:

  • use another person's idea, opinion, or theory
  • use any pieces of information (for example, facts, statistics, graphs, or drawings) that aren't common knowledge
  • use quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words
  • paraphrase another person's spoken or written words

All of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.

Source: What Is Plagiarism? (n.d.) Retrieved November 20, 2012, from <>

Did I Plagiarize? If You're Not Sure, Ask Yourself These Questions:

Plagiarism is a Serious Offense at CCC

According to the CCC Academic & Student Policy 2016, page 65-66:

Section 8.17                                            Academic Integrity and Dishonesty

CCC is committed to the ideals of truth and honesty. Students are expected to adhere to high standards of honesty and integrity in their academic endeavors. Plagiarism and cheating of any kind are serious violations of these standards.

Academic dishonesty is a serious offense, which includes but is not limited to the following: cheating, complicity, fabrication and falsification, forgery, and plagiarism. Cheating involves copying another student’s paper, exam, quiz, or use of technology devices to exchange information during class time and/or testing. It also involves the unauthorized use of notes, calculators, and other devices or study aids. In addition, it includes the unauthorized collaboration on academic work of any sort. Complicity, on the other hand, involves the attempt to assist another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty. Fabrication and falsification, respectively, involve the invention or alteration of any information (data, results, sources, identity, etc.) in academic work. Another example of academic dishonesty is forgery, which involves the duplication of a signature in order to represent it as authentic. Lastly, plagiarism involves the failure to acknowledge sources (of ideas, facts, charges, illustrations, etc.) properly in academic work, thus falsely representing another’s ideas as one’s own.

In individual cases of academic dishonesty, sanctions may include one or more of the following: an F grade on an assignment where academic dishonesty occurred, a written warning, a failing grade for the course, and/or issuing of an academic dishonesty withdrawal (see ADH – Academic Dishonesty Withdrawal. The severity of the penalty is left to the discretion of the instructor, except the issuing of an academic dishonesty withdrawal which requires Vice President approval. A student may appeal a finding of academic dishonesty (see Appeal Instructional Grading or Academic Dishonesty).

Additional sanctions may be imposed up to and including dismissal from CCC when circumstances warrant it and/or the revocation of a previously awarded degree or certificate (see Revocation of Degrees or Certificates). A student may appeal additional sanctions (see Disciplinary Hearings and Appeal of Discipline).

Accidental Plagiarism

Accidental Plagiarism - Don't Let It Happen to You

This interactive, self-paced tutorial will teach you how to avoid accidental plagiarism. You'll learn how accidental plagiarism can occur and how to prevent it through the correct use of paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting of resources. A brief, instantly assessed quiz is included.