Citing your work is about more than just fulfilling the requirements for your assignment. Under U.S. Copyright Law, the creator of an original work (for example, an author) has the right to be credited for their work. Thus, it is a legal and ethical issue to document the sources you use. It is as well a demonstration of your trusted membership within the larger community of scholars.
Plagiarism is a serious intellectual offense in professional and academic writing. It "is the presentation of someone else's ideas or words as your own. A form of academic dishonesty, it carries potentially severe penalties, ranging from failing the assignment, failing the course, to expulsion from the university."
-- National University Writing Center.
Read more to see what else the Writing Center recommends: Plagiarism
The flip side of plagiarism is Academic Integrity. It speaks to the ethical role of academic scholarship. As students and faculty engage with the broader community of scholarly communication, we are challenged to respectfully join the conversation.
To avoid plagiarism, keep the following in mind:
Careful note taking and writing are key to avoiding plagiarism. Keep track of where your ideas come from while reading articles, books, or browsing the Web.
National University uses SafeAssign (in Blackboard) to help students check their writing for plagiarism. This is available in all online courses if enabled by faculty. For questions about SafeAssign, students need to contact their instructor.
Plagiarism detection software is not available from the Library.
For plagiarism detection options outside of National University, check out this list of the top 10 free plagiarism detection tools.
FACULTY: To allow students to use SafeAssign to check their papers for plagiarism, you must do the following:
For more information, please see the Blackboard Plagiarism Tools page (must log in through SSO).
Videos & Tutorials
Carefully review the citation guide recommended by your instructor to be sure you are following the correct format:
Library liaisons/reference librarians and Writing Center tutors/coaches are happy to answer questions about formatting your paper or citations as well as to recommend resources to learn more, but they are NOT editors who "fix" your papers and reference lists.
That being said, let's see what we can provide...