Plagiarism Education

Integrity, a UMBC value

Let’s Be Honest…

Plagiarism is…

“…the act of taking another person’s writing, conversation, song, or even idea, and passing it off as your own”
(What is Plagiarism?).

It isn’t WRITING, unless you’re CITING!
  • “Citing refers to the practice of giving credit to an author, singer, or speaker by citing their words/ideas within your paper” (What is Plagiarism?).
  • This can be done using in-text citations known as parenthetical citations.
  • We cite so the person who had the idea or statement originally receives credit for their work.
Always make sure you include your sources at the end of your assignment.
Bibliography: “also known as a reference list or works cited. Comes at the end of your paper – listing all of the works you’ve quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise used to create your paper” (What is Plagiarism?).

Need more help citing?

UMBC’s Faculty and The Writing Center

Faculty members at UMBC have the qualifications to answer your citation questions. Faculty can be reached through their “” emails. Please feel comfortable communicating with them. They would love to help you succeed. However, if you feel nervous talking to your professors, feel free to go to The Writing Center, conveniently located in the school’s library, to get advice from other experienced and eager students.

The Little Seagull Handbook

Although many handbooks cover Academic Integrity, The Little Seagull Handbook conveniently guides our English 100 students through the writing process (Mabe).

Purdue Owl

As an “online writing lab,” Purdue Owl provides a communal database that can be accessed by anyone with an online computer. This “online writing lab” has aided in “classroom instruction, face-to-face tutorials, and stand-alone reference for thousands of writers worldwide” (Purdue Owl).

Can you inadvertently plagiarize?

According to WriteCheck, “Plagiarism is often unintentional and students may not realize they have accidentally plagiarized” (Plagiarism Checker).

This means yes, you can unconsciously plagiarize and it can get you into trouble. To prevent plagiarizing, consult “Avoiding Plagiarism” in The Little Seagull Handbook (Bullock and Weinburg 91).

There are many free websites available to assist you in checking your work if you are unsure whether or not you are plagiarizing, such as:

Keep in mind that online plagiarism checkers may not detect plagiarism derived from print material.

Most Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes you can make while writing a paper is to accidentally forget to cite a source because you are so caught up in the rest of your paper. Unfortunately this still counts as plagiarism.

Grammerly logo

P-checker logo

The Plagiarism Checker logo

Helpful Hints

  • “Research helps inform and support your ideas. It needs to be placed into the context of your writing, not a substitute for your ideas” (Fitzpatrick).
  • “If you are using more than a few words from a source, then you must put it in quotes” (Mabe).
  • “Common knowledge means it can be found in at least five separate sources” (Mabe).
  • “It is better to over-cite than to under-cite” (Pekarske).
  • “If you have any questions about citation, ask your instructor well in advance of your paper’s due date, so if you have to make any adjustments to your citations, you have the time to do them well”
    (Brizee et al.).
  • Remember to “cite as you write” (Robichaud).
  • It is very important that you identify quotes in your notes so that you do not accidently place them into your paper improperly (Brizee et al.).
  • If you come up with an idea on your own, then write ‘me’ next to it (Brizee et al.).
  • Color code or number information by source (Bartko), or place “a big S” by information from your sources (Brizee et al.).
  • “When using material from your past papers as support in a new piece of writing, you must cite your previous paper as a source. Fair Warning: Ask your professor if it is acceptable to use this material” (MacDougall).

How to Cite by Discipline…BE PATIENT!!!

We understand that citing your sources can be quite time-consuming, but have no fear: this brochure will make your life a whole lot easier. However, keep in mind that professors mat require a specific documentation style.
Definitely consult your teachers’ rubrics for their personal preferences. In addition, The Little Seagull Handbook provides guidelines on four documentation styles, each of which is commonly used in specific disciplines:

  • “Modern Language Association (MLA): English, foreign languages, and other humanities
  • American Psychological Association (APA): Psychology and other social sciences
  • University of Chicago Press (Chicago): History, philosophy, and other humanities
  • Council of Science Editors (CSE): Physical and biological sciences and mathematics” (Bullock and Weinburg 92)

Be Aware!

  • Cheating, in any form, is a serious offense and is not taken lightly at UMBC.
  • In all circumstances of cheating, Faculty Members will submit a formal report to the Academic Misconduct Reporting Database (Undergraduate Student Academic Conduct Policy).
  • Available on UMBC’s website, The Undergraduate Student Academic Conduct Policy enumerates the consequential punishments for this unlawful action.


  • “Web-based prevention tool available through Blackboard that compares documents submitted by students to a database of existing published articles and papers, in addition to all student papers submitted to the site” (Academic Integrity).

Works Cited:

“Advanced Plagiarism Checker.” Plagiarism Checker. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.

Allen Brizee, Stolley, Karl, and Joshua M. Paiz. “Safe Practices.” Purdue OWL: Avoiding Plagiarism. Purdue University, 31 July 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2012.

Bullock, Richard, and Francine Weinburg. The Little Seagull Handbook. New York: W. Norton & Company, 2011. Print.

Fitzpatrick, Carol. Personal Interview. 15 May 2013.

Mabe, Mitzi. Personal Interview. 18 Dec. 2012.

MacDougall, Elaine. Personal Interview. 14 May 2013.

Pekarske, Nicole. Personal Interview. 8 May 2013.

“Photo Archive.” UMBC Creative Services. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.

“Plagiarism Checker.” Plagiarism Checker for Students.

“The Plagiarism Checker.” Dustball. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.

“Purdue OWL Fact Sheet.” Purdue Online Writing Lab. Purdue University, 14 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.

Robichaud, Martha, Personal Interview. 8 May 2013.

“Top Ten Reasons You’ll Love Grammarly.” Grammarly. Grammarly, Inc., 2012. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.

“UMBC Faculty Development Center- Academic Integrity.” UMBC Faulty Development Center. UMBC, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.

“Undergraduate Student Academic Conduct Policy.” University of Maryland, Baltimore County. n.d. Web. 22 April 2013.

“What Is Plagiarism?” What Is Plagiarism? N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.