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Counseling Resources: Avoiding plagiarism

A guide for students and faculty in the Malone Counseling and Human Development Program.

What is plagiarism?

The Malone University Catalog defines plagiarism in this way:

  1. submitting as one’s own work, part or all of an oral or written assignment which is copied, paraphrased, or purchased from another source, including world wide web and other online sources, without proper acknowledgement of that source. In written assignments, using three or more words in succession from a source without quotation marks and proper acknowledgement can be considered plagiarism.
  2. submitting as one’s own, course work which has been prepared or extensively revised by someone else


Avoiding plagiarism

Cite your source. 

That is really all you need to do to avoid plagiarism. It is that simple.

Any time you refer to or incorporate someone else's words, thoughts, ideas, opinions, theories, research, creations, images, files, music, etc. you must give them credit. This is often referred to as attribution or acknowledgement.

How do you do that in your written work using APA style? 

1. Paraphrase. Restate what someone else said using your own words OR

    Summarize. Use your own words to condense the author’s original words into just the main points

  • Accurately reflect the author’s meaning in your own language
  • EITHER introduce the material with the author’s name in the text immediately followed by the year in parentheses.

            Example: As Snickerbopp (2018) discovered…

  • OR include an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrase with the author’s last name and the date in parentheses.

Example: Blah blah blah (Snickerbopp, 2018).

  • Include complete citation information in your Reference List.

2. Use direct quotes. Include the author’s exact words inside quotation marks or as an indented paragraph for long quotes (40 words or more).

  • EITHER introduce the quote with the author’s name in the text immediate followed by the year in parenthesis and include the page number in parentheses at the end of the quote

Example: Puddlepuppy (2020) noted that “Blah blah blah” (p. 613).

  • OR list the author’s name, the year, and the page at the end of the quote

Example: “Blah blah blah.” (Puddlepuppy, 2020, p. 613).

  • Include complete citation information in your Reference List.


Avoiding plagiarism video

Avoiding Plagiarism from PALNI on Vimeo.

Check out this short video created by PALNI (The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) for a quick explanation of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.


Additional resources