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Digital Citizenship

This course material covers plagiarism concerns and is accompanied by a paper quiz on the content.

Understanding Plagiarism

Course Outcomes:

By the end of this guide, you will be able to:

  • determine when and what to cite
  • understand the seriousness of plagiarism
  • understand the consequences of plagiarism at CWU


During Sarah’s English class, her professor has reminded them about the seriousness of plagiarism and how important it is to cite any materials that they quote in their papers.  Sarah remembers that citations are required not only for direct quotations but whenever an idea is used that is not your own.  Sarah is unsure exactly what this means and if she has been citing properly in her paper. Sarah decides that the best course of action is to meet with a writing tutor to discuss her paper.

Writing tutors are available during the school year, Monday-Thursday 11AM-9PM, Friday 11AM-5PM, and Sunday 2PM-4PM.  Writing tutors are available for all students and they can help you in any stage of the writing process: brainstorming a topic, structure of a paper, crafting a stellar introduction or conclusion, or working through your citations.

What is Plagiarism?


What is plagiarism?  According to the Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language, the word "plagiarism" is from the Latin word plagiarius, which means "literary thief," and is defined as "The appropriation of someone's artistic, musical, or literary work for personal ends."  How does this concept apply to CWU students?  Unfortunately, there have been incidences of plagiarism here on CWU, but most often because students do not know they are plagiarizing when they do it.

Plagiarism and Citations Playlist - from Kevin deLeplante, Ph.D.

Committing Plagiarism

Here are the ways most students commit plagiarism:

  1. Cutting and pasting large portions of other people's work and presenting it as their own work.
  2. Paying someone else to write your paper.
  3. Cutting and pasting even tiny portions of other people's work without giving the creator of the work any credit for it.
  4. Paraphrasing other people's work without citing the original.