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Plagiarism, What's the Big Deal?: Tips to Help You

This LibGuide will define plagiarism, describe some of the consequences, and give a brief instruction to citation resources. This guide was created by Danielle Colbert-Lewis and Mary Ann Barnett.

Ethical of Information Use

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 5th Information Literacy Competency Standard for Higher Education:

The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.
The librarians at the James E. Shepard Memorial Library can point you in the right direction so you can access information ethically and legally and cite it correctly to credit the author. 

Understanding Plagiarism

Another Source: Duke Plagiarism Tutorial

Tips to help you

  • Time management -START EARLY!!! Understand concepts, terms, the things you are writing about. You may want talk to your professors to make sure you understand what is expected for each assignment.


  • Your reputation is on the line; Always think “can I turn this in with confidence? This is my own work.” Do you want to be a credible, reliable person?


  • Visit the North Carolina Central Writing Studio -- If you are not citing you probably are plagiarizing, get it checked. Better safe than sorry; no need to be embarrassed.


  • Visit instructors, librarians, and the James E. Shepard Memorial Library, early in the semester and often for assistance.

Tools to help you

There are various software products and website that assist you with determining if you paper has plagiarism issues.

Here are a few that have been in the news*:

Here are a few website that assist you in protecting your work*:


*Note the James E. Shepard Memorial Library does not endorse the external websites above, they are examples of resources that can help you understand plagiarism, copyright, and trademarks.