Avoiding Plagiarism

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This guide will provide some introductory information about plagiarism and how to avoid it!

If you have any questions or concerns, remember to always ask your instructor and to consult George Brown College’s Code of Non-Academic Student Behaviour for further details.


Plagiarism is the act of taking credit for someone else's work.

It is a serious academic offence which includes presenting the work, words, images or thoughts of others as your own without identifying and giving proper credit to the original source.

The act of plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. The consequences are just as serious.

Examples of plagiarism include (but are not limited to):

  • Submitting an assignment that is not your own
  • Submitting an assignment with sections that are not your own
  • Cutting and pasting text or images from the internet without citing the source
  • Including an exact quote without using quotation marks or citing the source
  • Using any published or unpublished source of information (including ideas!) without citing the source
  • Paraphrasing any source of information (including ideas!) without citing the source

How to avoid plagiarism

Citing your sources is an essential part of college research which allows you to acknowledge and use the works of others in your essays, research and assignments. If you don’t indicate where you got the information, you are plagiarizing!

Any information (including ideas!) that you did not create yourself must be credited using a citation method - the most popular are APA and MLA.  For more detailed information on how to cite your sources, please refer to the Citing Sources guide.

When you are doing research, working on assignments and writing papers, you are expected to follow certain rules. Understanding and complying with these rules will help you uphold academic honesty and avoid plagiarism.

Always remember to:

  • Start your research early
  • Use your resources carefully
  • Learn to correctly identify common knowledge
  • paraphrase properly
  • give credit to others
  • cite your sources

Useful resources

The OWL at Purdue University:  Check out their resources on Safe Practices, Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing.