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Library Guide for International Students

Avoiding Plagiarism

Per NDNU Student Conduct Code, "Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit."

Plagiarism is cheating and is viewed as "academic dishonesty" and therefore, "academic misconduct."

You have plagiarized when you...

  • Turn in someone else's paper or essay as your own
  • Copy sections from another sources without properly citing the source
  • Copy and paste sections from a web page into your paper without properly citing the source. Information found on the Internet is not free
  • You express the ideas of another author and pretend they are your own original ideas                                                                                     

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit by citing sources whenever you use

  • another person’s idea, opinion, or theory

  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge

  • quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words

  • paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words

You don’t need to cite sources when the information you write about are common facts, your own original research, and/or your own opinions and evaluations.

Some tips to avoid unintentional plagiarism

  • Start early! Research and writing may take much longer if the your native language is not English. 
  • Take accurate notes when you are doing research.
  • Write down the complete citation for each item you might use. If you have made copies of journal articles, book chapters, or other materials, be sure that the author, title, subtitle, date, and all the other necessary citation information is on the photocopy. If you aren't sure what information is needed for a citation, check the citation style you will be using.
  • Follow required style guide (APA, MLA) when you are writing your paper to properly credit your sources.
  • When in doubt, cite!

How To Cite?

Citing is more than just creating a Bibliography! 

Whenever you use another person's language, ideas, or other original content, you need to acknowledge this both within the body of your paper using in-text citations and at the end of your paper in the bibliography or reference page. 

Your professor will let you know what citation style guide (e.g., APA, MLA) is required for the assignment. This style guides are usually specific to your discipline or area of study.

APA (American Psychological Association) - commonly used in the Social Sciences.

MLA (Modern Language Association) - commonly used for Humanities and Liberal Arts.

Use APA handout and MLA handout for basic citation help. For more and detailed information, please refer to Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide and MLA Formatting and Style Guide

Citation Tools in Databases

Many databases provide tools to help you cite the sources you find.


Discovery Cite Tool:

On the search results list, click on the |"Cite| button on the right side of the page.

  1. Use the "Select a citation style" pull down option
  2. A box will display with a list of citation styles. Choose the correct citation style such as APA or MLA.
  3. Copy and paste the citation into your document.
  4. Double-check the citation for accuracy and proper formatting


EBSCO Cite Tool:

Once you locate an article that you like:

  1. Click the Cite button located on the right side of the page in the Tools section
  2. A box will display with a list of citation styles. Choose the correct citation style such as APA or MLA.  Copy this citation
  3. Paste the citation into your document.
  4. Double-check the citation for accuracy and proper formatting.


ProQuest Cite Tool:

From the list of search results:

  1. Click on the Citation/Abstract link for the article that you want to use.
  2. On the page that opens, click on the Cite button found near the top of the page. This will open a new window.
  3. Make sure to select the correct Citation style in the drop-down menu.
  4. Copy and Paste the citation in the box.
  5. Double-check the citation for accuracy and proper formatting.