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International Students - Library Guide

Welcome! The resources and tools on this guide will help you succeed in your assignments and research here at CWU



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.

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.

Learn about the punishable perils of plagiarism by Melissa Huseman D'Annunzio (Links to an external site.)


Checking for plagiarism

Checking For Plagiarism

Central Washington University does check student work for plagiarism!  Most, if not all, instructors at CWU will check student papers for originality by running Canvas assignments through a software called Turnitin, a software program that checks student work against internet websites, databases, blogs, etc. by finding "cut & paste" sections of the paper.  

See Turnitin to go to their website, or Answers To Questions Students Ask (Links to an external site.), to find out more about Turnitin.   

Plagiarism Checker for Students

Try (Links to an external site.) to get some very good help to avoid unintended plagiarism with their free checker and some helpful tutorials.

Checklist for Avoiding Plagiarism

Are you using:

  • Your own independent material
  • Common knowledge
  • Someone else's own independent material

You must acknowledge someone else's material.


  • Do all quotations exactly match their sources? Check!
  • Have you inserted quotation marks around quotations that are run into your text?
  • Have you shown omissions with ellipsis marks and additions with brackets?
  • Does every quotation have a source citation?

Paraphrases and Summaries:

  • Have you used your own words and sentence structures for every paraphrase and summary? If not, use quotation 
    marks around the original author’s words.
  • Does every paraphrase and summary have a source citation?

The Web:

  • Have you obtained any necessary permission to use someone else’s material on your Web site?

Source Citations:

  • Have you acknowledged every use of someone else’s material in the
    place where you use it?
  • Does your list of works cited include all the sources you have used?

Checklist content borrowed from: Fowler, Ramsey H. and Jane I. Aaron. The Little, Brown Handbook. New York:
Pearson Education, Inc., 2004.

Consequences of plagiarism

Consequences of Plagiarism at CWU

 According to Central's Student Code of Conduct, a student shall be subject to disciplinary action or sanction upon violation of the following conduct proscriptions:

B.      Academic dishonesty in all its forms including, but not limited to:

1.     Cheating on tests

2.     Copying from another student’s test paper

3.     Using materials during a test not authorized by the person giving the test

4.     Collaboration with any other person during a test without authority

5.     Knowingly obtaining, using, buying, selling, transporting, or soliciting in whole or in part the contents of an unadministered test or information about an unadministered test

6.     Bribing any other person to obtain an unadministered test or information about an unadministered test

7.     Substitution for another student or permitting any other person to substitute for oneself to take a test

8.     Plagiarism, which means the appropriation of any other person’s work and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in one’s own work offered for credit

Consequences of academic dishonesty can result in a written warning, a failing grade on an assignment, or escalate to expulsion from Central and forfeiture of awards or scholarships.