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Understanding Plagiarism

When students learn to give credit to other writers' ideas by using a citation method when they draw upon their work, they mature as writers and present their own work more confidently and professionally.  The practice of taking someone else's work and passing it off as one’s own is plagiarism, the unethical theft of someone’s intellectual property.  The faculty and librarians at WSU would hope that students avoid plagiarism at all costs. Please use the following resources to become familiar with what constitutes plagiarism and what to do to avoid it. 

WSU and the WSU Libraries have established a thorough explanation of plagiarism, and the academic integrity board and student handbook provide additional information. Use the following sites to better understand and to avoid plagiarism in your academic work.

The consequences for plagiarism are outlined in your course syllabi, too. Make sure that you are familiar with all of the information in these resources.

Two other helpful sources of information about plagiarism can be found from

Quiz yourself. What do you know about...

  • Intentional and unintentional plagiarism
  • ​The primary reasons that students plagiarize and/or cheat
  • ​Possible sanctions that could be imposed related to an academic integrity violations
  • ​Possible consequences of supported plagiarism/cheating
  • ​Signs of plagiarism that instructors and TAs attend to
  • ​Whether or not images, audio or video need to be cited
  • Whether or not you can drop a course if plagiarism is suspected
  • Cultural differences related to crediting others' work

Ask your instructor about:

  • Multiple submissions of the same work
  • Collaborating on homework

Taking pride in one's original projects, giving each class assignment enough time for completion, and talking with professors about citing the work of others are all great ways of avoid plagiarism.

APA Writing and Referencing

Following is a link to a basic APA tutorial. Click on the Basics of APA Style: Tutorial to start.

This page also has information about grammar and usage (see under “Browse Learning Resources”).  


The WSU library also provides APA guidelines. Use this link for examples: 


The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a comprehensive guide to APA citation conventions.  

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

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