Student Resources

Why do we cite? Are there different types of plagiarism? What resources are available online and on campus?

We’ve rounded up some information to help you understand plagiarism, cite sources properly, and protect yourself from academic dishonesty during your academic career.

Tips for Maintaining Academic Integrity

Proactive strategy for students:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the University's Academic Honor Code.
  2. Review course syllabi and make sure you understand your instructors' expectations and responses regarding academic dishonesty.
  3. Learn how to cite sources correctly so that you don’t plagiarize.
  4. If you are asked to do something that you feel is wrong or unethical, it probably is.
  5. Aiding someone in committing an academically dishonest act is just as serious as receiving the aid.

Protecting oneself from being charged with academic dishonesty:

On taking exams:

  1. Take the initiative to prevent other students from copying your exam or assignments by shielding your work. In exams, if you feel someone is trying to copy from you, ask the proctor if you may move.
  2. Do not look around, particularly in the direction of other students' papers, during an exam since it may appear you are trying to copy from others.
  3. Do not make any marks on a graded exam if there is any chance you may submit it for a re-grade. Make notations on a separate paper.
  4. Do not use unauthorized technology during an examination.
  5. Do not continue to work on an examination or project after the specified allotted time has elapsed.
  6. If you are allowed to take materials into a testing site, make sure no notes or materials are exposed or accessible that could cause one to believe you are using unauthorized aids.
  7. When completing take-home or on-line exams, do not collaborate with other persons unless approved by the instructor.
  8. Do not pass examination information to students who have not yet taken the exam.

On doing assignments:

  1. Ask questions of your professor if you aren’t sure of the requirements for an assignment.
  2. Do not share assignments you have finished with other students. Do not leave your finished assignments in a place where another student might be able to copy them.
  3. Do not allow others to use your work – even if it’s work you completed a previous term.
  4. Check with your instructor and get permission before turning in a paper or project you submitted in another course.
  5. Do not use previous papers, lab reports, or assignments used in a course with the intention of copying parts or all of the material.
  6. Since it is impossible to write everything with complete originality, use quotation marks, footnotes, and parenthetical textual notes to acknowledge other people's words or ideas employed in your paper.
  7. Check with your instructor and/or the University Writing Center for proper techniques for citations and attribution if you have any doubts.
  8. Do not include sources in a bibliography or reference list if you have not used the sources in the preparation of your paper. To list unused sources is called ‘padding’ the bibliography.

On collaborating:

  1. Do not share your current or former assignments, projects, papers, etc. with other students to use as guides for their work. Such a practice could lead to claims of collaboration if another student lifts part or all your work. Sometimes friendly assistance may escalate into claims of blatant dishonesty.
  2. When working on a collaborative exercise, complete all written assignments individually unless the instructor specifically tells you otherwise.
  3. Acknowledge the contributions of other students on collaborative projects by citing their name(s) on all written work turned into the instructor.
  4. Do not work together on an assignment, share the computer files and programs involved, and then submit individual copies of the assignment as one's own individual work.
  5. Should there be any doubt, clarify with your instructor how much collaboration, if any, is permitted or expected when working on projects or assignments with other students.
  6. Keep rough drafts and copies of your work since other students may get access to your work and attempt to claim it as their own.

On using computer / the web:

  1. Be careful when you share a computer – make sure you don’t leave your work on the hard drive.
  2. Protect your computer login identifications and passwords. Other students could use them to access your work and subsequently implicate you in a cheating case.
  3. Know that it is risky to electronically copy or transmit a computer program or file to other students. You could be implicated in a cheating incident if someone alters that program and submits it as their own work.
  4. Do not allow anyone to copy or use your USB.
  5. Do not leave copies of assignments in computer labs.
  6. Do not cut and paste from the web and most importantly don’t BUY papers off the web!
  7. Keep your student identification card in your possession or secured. Never loan your identification to anyone.

In general:

  1. Prepare yourself thoroughly for examinations and assignments.
  2. Encourage honesty among other students.
  3. Refuse to assist students who cheat.

** Extracted from University of Georgia, University of Delaware, University of Rochester, and Purdue University’s Dishonesty Policy Guidelines

Resources at USF

Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Why We Cite Short video from the UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center explains the importance of citing sources.
  • Ten Types of Plagiarism This video explains the ten common types of plagiarism and how to avoid them.
  • Purdue Owl Writing resource from Purdue University with citation tips.

Practice Quizzes

Citing and Documenting Sources UCLA Library quiz helps you understand plagiarism and how to avoid it.