Student Plagiarism Resources

In college programs that require students to submit many written assignments, plagiarism is a very common breach of academic integrity. Certain acts of plagiarism, such as buying a term paper off the Internet or " copying and pasting" text from a web site are deliberately dishonest. However, students often unintentionally plagiarize when they neglect to properly credit and document the ideas of others.

Empire State College's statement on academic integrity includes practical advice.

For a thorough overview of the college's position and specific tips on how to avoid common pitfalls, follow this link to Academic Integrity and Writing the Research Paper. Here you will find strategies to solve some common mistakes, such as relying too heavily upon others' information, using others' words in a paraphrase or summary, and incorrectly citing and documenting sources.

Knowing how to write a research paper can help you avoid plagiarism.

The Online Writing Center offers a step-by-step guide to Research Writing. You'll also find suggestions for taking notes, working with quotations, developing proper attribution of others' ideas and the preparation of footnotes, bibliographies and other documentation. If you need help with paraphrasing skills, you'll find useful explanations and exercises in the Writing Resources section.

The Empire State College Library offers several options for developing research skills. The Research Skills Tutorial is a brief course in information literacy and doing research using the resources of the Empire State College Library. It requires no password. There are eight modules in all, or you can consult one as a "ready reference" to brush up on a particular skill. In addition, you and your mentor or tutor may want to consider integrating this study into a learning contract that includes a research project. Topics covered include: finding books in libraries, identifying reference tools, using research databases and the Internet, and organizing, documenting and evaluating research sources.  Ithaca College offers this brief graphical summary of the same ideas.

Useful Links at Other Colleges

Plagiarism: What Is It and How to Recognize and Avoid It

Duke University offers a quick video overview of the topic. Penn State provides a structured formal view of the material, including clear examples of good and bad practice in using other authors' words, images, or ideas.

Avoiding Plagiarism: Practical Strategies

Sacramento State provides practical information on how to tackle a research paper. 

Don't forget that Empire State College offers an Assignment Calculator that will help you budget your time.

Ask a Librarian for more information or contact a librarian via email at

Quiz Yourself: After you review these resources, can you recognize common mistakes related to footnoting, paraphrasing and proper attribution?