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Memorial Library -- FAQ and Policies

Definitions of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the unauthorized or uncredited use of other people's words, ideas, images, music, or creative efforts. In college papers, plagiarism includes:

  • word-for-word borrowing from another source (copying and pasting) without citing the source.
  • mirroring or borrowing the structure or format from another source (replacing the original structure with alternate words) without citing.
  • paraphrasing someone else's idea in your words without citing the source.
  • re-using your own words from papers in another class without permission from the instructor (self-plagiarism).
  • citing a source but failing to indicate which words are paraphrased and which are direct quotes.

See the KWU Student Handbook for the official policy on plagiarism.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

1. Learn how to cite sources correctly. Ask for help. Everyone needs help with citing sources! Help is available at the Student Success Center.

2. Allow enough time to write the paper or create the project AND cite the sources. Running out of time is no excuse for unethical behavior.

3. As you compose your rough draft or initial sketches, put placeholders and citation information into your work, so that you can find the sources again.

4. Keep a file or notebook of your sources as you work, from the very beginning of the project to the end. This seems like a lot of extra work at the time, but it will save you time in the final stages.

5. Don't work on your paper or project with the original in front of you. It's too easy to borrow too many words or features from the original. Read and observe carefully; then put the original away while you work on your own project.

Dr. Mirtz's Plagiarism Review

Citing Sources -- APA Style

Basics of APA Style Tutorial:

Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue - APA Style Guide:


APA uses an “author/year” style which places the author(s) and year in prominent positions in the text. The author and year also act as tags for finding the related entry on the References page.  There are two ways to place the author/year information into your paper:

Moeck and Yoon (2004) have shown how green buildings can substantially reduce the amount of lighting needed in office spaces. When properly built, “between 89 and 84% can be supplied by daylight” (p. 158).

Green buildings can substantially reduce the amount of lighting needed in office spaces (Moeck & Yoon, 2004).

Include the page number for direct quotations or specific information. Notice the word “and” in the first sample, but the use of an ampersand (&) for the parenthetical citation in the second sample.

Journal article with a DOI number:

Moeck, M., & Yoon, Y. (2004). Green buildings and potential electric light energy savings. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 10(4),

143-159. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1076-0431(2004)10:4(143)

Journal article with no DOI number and from a library database:

Jallick, M., & Museli, Y. (2004). Gastroenterology phenotype progression: Predictive factors in disease. Journal of Medical Specialty,

10(4),143-159. Retrieved from

Citing Sources -- MLA

There are two basic ways to cite information in the text of your paper:

Kopecky and Koreshkova conclude that reducing social security coverage of medical expenses is not a fair method of helping most people stay out of debt in old age (69).


Reducing social security coverage of medical expense is not considered by economists as a fair method of helping people stay out of debt (Kopecky and Koreshkova 69).

Kopecky, Karen A., and Tatyana Koreshkova. "The Impact of Medical and Nursing Home Expenses on Savings." American

        Economic Journal,  vol. 6, no. 3, 2014, pp. 29-72. CINAHL,

Mason, J. W., and Arjun Jayadev. "Fisher Dynamics in U. S. Household Debt, 1929-2011." Journal of Economics

        vol. 10, no. 3, 2011, pp. 214-216. doi: 10.2033/pdd.2233.