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Plagiarism, What's the Big Deal?: Home

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.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined as appropriating someone else's words or ideas without acknowledgment.


Citation: Plagiarism. (2001). In Encyclopedia of Ethics.

Retrieved from:


Books to help you

North Carolina Central University Academic Honor Code

Plagiarism is the intentional use of the ideas, words, or work of another without attribution, when the information they provide is not common knowledge, either in content or form. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, (1) quoting from the published or unpublished work of another without appropriate attribution; (2) paraphrasing or summarizing in one’s own work any portion of the published or unpublished materials of another without attribution;and (3) borrowing from another’s work information which is not in the domain of common knowledge.

Complicity is the intentional giving of assistance or the attempt to give assistance to another for the purpose of perpetrating academic dishonesty.

From the NCCU ACADEMIC HONOR CODE: Undergraduate Student Code of Academic Integrity

James E. Shepard Memorial Library Resources: Databases and Citation Tools

What's the big deal?

It happens more than you may think. Plagiarism over time:

According to the International Center for Academic Integrity 2020 study:


According to surveys in U.S. News and World Report

  1. 80% of "high-achieving" high school students admit to cheating.
  2. 51% of high school students did not believe cheating was wrong.
  3. 95% of cheating high school students said that they had not been detected.
  4. 75% of college students admitted cheating, and 90% of college students didn't believe cheaters would be caught.
  5. Almost 85% of college students said cheating was necessary to get ahead.

In a sample of 1,800 students at nine state universities:

  1. 70% of the students admitted to cheating on exams
  2. 84% admitted to cheating on written assignments
  3. 52% had copied a few sentences from a website w/o citing the source

Kerkvliet, J., & Sigmund, C. L. (1999). Can we control cheating in the classroom? Journal of Economic Education, 30(4), 331-351.

Ashworth, P., Bannister, P., & Thorne, P. (1997). "Guilty in whose eyes? University students' perceptions of cheating and plagiarism in academic work and assessment." Studies in Higher Education, 22(2), 187-203. (EJ 549 250)

from the November 22, 1999 issue of U.S. News and World Report

from The Center for Academic Integrity (

McCabe, D. L., & Trevino, L. K. (1996). "What we know about cheating in college: Longitudinal trends and recent developments." Change, 28(1), 28-33. (EJ 520 088)

Above material from

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