Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Plagiarism Prevention Tips

 The Wagner Academic Honesty Policy is located in every Student Bulletin. By attending classes at Wagner College you agree to the Policy which includes these important statements:

 “Students are solely responsible for informing themselves about acceptable forms of academic conduct. Lack of knowledge of citation procedures is not an excuse for plagiarism.”

“Plagiarism is presenting as one’s own work, words or ideas of another without proper citations or credits.”

 “All work that comes from other sources must be properly acknowledged, and even if the work of others is paraphrased it should be clearly noted.”


The Purdue OWL has a very helpful and informative Plagiarism Overview.



  • No more than 5% of your paper should be made up of direct quotes.

  • Accurately quote the original author's words. 

  • Enclose the quotation within quotation marks.

  • Follow quotation using an in-text citation, e.g., (Miller, 2006).

  • Introduce the quotation with a 'signal phrase' [e.g., Miller states that “….”].

  • A list of references with full citation information is also required at the end of the paper.


  • The purpose of paraphrase is to summarize or simplify the author’s ideas.

  • You might also use paraphrase to emphasize a particular idea or train of thought from the original author’s text.

  • Close paraphrase, where trivial changes are made such as substituting similar words or changing the sentence order, is essentially the same as copying the author’s words directly. This is not enough to count as an original expression of the idea and is still considered a form of exact copy plagiarism.

  • Follow the paraphrase using an in-text citation, e.g., (Miller, 2006).

  • Introduce the paraphrased material with a 'signal phrase,' e.g., Miller states that “….”.

  • A list of references with full citation information is also required at the end of the paper.


  • Remember: WHEN IN DOUBT, CITE IT!

  • Use your own ideas. It should be your paper and your ideas that should be the focus.

  • Use the ideas of others sparingly--only to support or reinforce your own argument.

  • When taking notes, include complete citation information for each item you use.

  • Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words, and be sure to give credit when you paraphrase.

  • If youhave questions, ASK your Professor BEFORE you submit your paper.
  • Take 30 minutes and write a short draft or outline of your paper without using any notes. It will help you think through what you want to say and help prevent your being too dependent upon your sources.


Some content adapted from the Owens Library SearchPath Tutorial,

Do you have more questions about how to properly cite your sources and avoid plagiarism? Contact the WITs (Writing Tutors) for more details or check the library website for more information.