Avoiding Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

NMC's Catalog and Student Handbook defines plagiarism as: "...offering as one's own work, the words, ideas or arguments of another person, without appropriate attribution by quotation, reference or footnote. Plagiarism occurs both when the words of another are reproduced without acknowledgment, and when the ideas or arguments are paraphrased in such a way as to lead the reader to believe that they originated with the writer."

NMC's Writing and Reading Center provides this definition: "Plagiarism is using others' words or ideas without giving credit to the source. Plagiarism occurs when students use papers others have written, when students use the writing of professionals without documenting the source, or when students allow others to revise their own words and thinking so extensively that the work no longer represents the students' own thinking. Plagiarism is considered the most serious of academic offenses, and students who plagiarize knowingly or unknowingly are subject to severe penalty."

Students found guilty of plagiarism will be subject to a failing grade, disciplinary action, and Academic Review Board Action. 

Do professors really check for plagiarism?

Yes! Your professors are savvier than you think!  Instructors commonly keep copies of past assignments. Many use online services that check for materials copied from term paper mills, websites or published works.  Google has made checking for plagiarism much easier than it has been in the past.

How to Avoid Plagiarism:


  • Ask your instructor to help you determine how best to cite your sources.
  • Visit or email the NMC Writing and Reading Center for expert help on citing sources.
  • Ask a librarian!

Osterlin Library