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MDC Virtual Library: Academic Integrity & Plagiarism

This LibGuide shows you how to access all electronic resources we have available at Miami Dade College. Here is a gateway to the essential learning tools that enhance your course work and learning experience.

Citing: When and Why


Plagiarism checkers


From the site:  Turnitin "discourages plagiarism and facilitates rich, meanginful feedback that improves writing skills and promotes critical thinking."

Faculty may ask you to turn in work in electronic format, which is then checked against Turnitin's database, which contains "130+ million students papers; 823,414 instructors; 19 million students; 13.5+ billion indexed webpages; 90,000 journals, book and periodicals; and 9500 educational institutions."

Your work is checked against that database for evidence of plagiarism through an "originality report."

What is academic integrity?

What is Academic Integrity?

As a student your number one task is to learn new things but just like your professors, you are a member of the university who contributes knowledge and ideas. Academics (like you) build knowledge through rigorous research and expand on the ideas of others. As a university student, you are expected to submit original work and give credit to other peoples' ideas. In short, academic integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. As an academic (yes, even in first year) you are expected to contribute to this research and knowledge building by sharing your own ideas, evaluations and arguments. Your professor isn't looking for you to write the "perfect" paper, they are looking for you to do some original thought. This includes:

  • Creating and expressing your own ideas in course work
  • Acknowledging all sources of information
  • Completing assignments independently or acknowledging collaboration
  • Accurately reporting results when conducting your own research or with respect to labs
  • Honesty during examinations


Tips for avoiding Plagiarism

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

1. Get started early to avoid panic situations which might tempt you to plagiarize. Try the Assignment Calculator to help you manage your research and writing time.

2. Take careful notes on what you read and where you found the ideas. Use Refworks to keep track of your sources as you go along.

3. Acknowledge ALL Sources from which you use ideas. This includes books, journal articles, websites, e-mail communication, listserv, film, videos, audio recordings, etc.

4. Always cite:

  • Direct quotations taken from sources - place quotation marks “” around direct quotes as you write them down, to remember which are direct quotes and which are not
  • Paraphrased ideas and opinions taken from someone else's work.
  • Summaries of ideas taken from someone else's work
  • Factual information, including statistics or other data – with the exception of anything that is considered common knowledge (i.e. well known facts like "British Columbia is a province in Canada").
  • Different disciplines use different style guides, so check with your instructor to make sure you are using the right one. Some of the most common style guides are MLA , APA and Turabian/Chicago

5. When reviewing your paper, ask yourself :

  • Is the idea or argument presented mine?
  • Are the words my own?
  • Can my work be clearly distinguished from the work of others?