Q. How can I avoid plagiarism?
Per the UDC Student Handbook plagiarism is considered academic misconduct and is defined as "The use by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without giving full and clear acknowledgement. It alos includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials."
There is a very simple way to avoid plagiarism: always provide a citation for work that is not your own and don't buy or use papers or other assignment materials created by someone else.
In essence: any time you quote, summarize or paraphrase the work of another person provide a citation.
So, what is a citation? A citation is the name or names of the original creator or creators, as well as the name of the source where you got the information and the location (such as page number).
How a citation is formatted (where on the page and in what you order you put this information) depends on what style you are using to format your paper. There are three main styles used for research papers in college: APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Library Association) or Chicago (based on the Chicago Manual of Style).
The library provides you access to all of these style guides -- we have copies of them in the reference section of the library. In addition, Purdue University has created solid on-line guides for these three styles: