What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you take another person's words or ideas and try to pass them off as your own. This includes taking information from web pages, articles, books, blogs, or any other source, and not giving credit to the original author.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize another person's work, you need to cite the source within your paper. It is not enough to just list the source in the References or Works Cited at the end of your paper. Failing to properly cite someone else's words and ideas at the point they show up in your paper is plagiarism.

How Can I Avoid Plagiarizing?

  • Use in-text citations (citations within the text of the paper) to state where the original idea or information came from. Use the formatting style required for your assignment.
  • Place quotation marks around all wording that is copied word-for-word from a source.
  • Properly quote, paraphrase, or summarize all information and wording that is not your own.
  • Do not purchase writing and present it as your own work.
  • Do not reuse assignments from a previous course without your instructor’s permission.
  • Do not let other students borrow, copy, or reuse your past assignment.
  • Do not use non-Ashford approved "tutoring" sites that ask you to pay. These are often scams. Review the Don't Get Scammed infographic.
For more help avoiding plagiarism, follow the steps outlined in our Academic Integrity Roadmap.

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a tool that helps identify plagiarism within a submitted assignment. This tool compares students’ work with texts available online, in our university’s internal database, as well as any assignment submitted to Turnitin.

Related Video Tutorials

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Plagiarism can be a confusing and overwhelming topic. To learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it, complete this module of interactive tutorials.
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Watch this video tutorial on understanding your Turnitin reports.

Plagarism