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Plagiarism is the practice of copying and using someone else’s ideas, word arrangements and thoughts without giving proper attribution to the author or source of the information. Plagiarism is literary and intellectual theft, whether it is intentional or unintentional. Plagiarism carries serious consequences of academic failure and expulsion and questions professional integrity. There are three ways to avoid plagiarism; cite, cite, cite. (Mays 2016)

St. Helens High School upholds the academic integrity of student work.

"Academic Integrity refers to any form of academic dishonesty or misconduct on any component of an academic activity, including assignments, exams, and projects. There are two categories of academic dishonesty: Plagiarism and Cheating."

"Cheating refers to any attempt to give or obtain assistance in academic work that is required to be completed individually including, but not limited to, copying homework or assignments, giving exam answers, exchanging information, or paying others to do work for you.

Any action that compromises academic integrity will result in a failing grade for that component. A second violation of academic integrity in the same class may lead to automatic failure of the class."

Source: SHHS Student Handbook

Please see »staff/teacher web pages for more course specific rules for cheating and plagiarism.

What Can Happen - Is It Worth It?

  • Affect student's entire academic career
  • The offense may need to be reported on college applications
  • Affects potential job interests
  • Receive a failing course grade
  • Removed from sports and extracurricular activities
  • Take a mandatory plagiarism course
  • Colleges can rescind their educational offers
  • Not graduate
  • Immediate suspension and/or expulsion
  • Court proceedings and other legal ramifications 

 Types of Plagiarism "...the deliberate or reckless representation of another’s words, thoughts, or ideas as one’s own without attribution in connection with submission of academic work, whether graded or otherwise."

(Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, Section II.B.1.).

Direct Plagiarism: Word for word duplication of someone else’s work without reference or attribution as well as the use of videos, images, music, photos without permission and/or citing sources. You cannot copy and paste someone’s content into your own paper and call it your own. You are also plagiarizing when quotation marks are not used and or the material is misquoted.;

Paraphrasing Plagiarism Words are changed, rearranged or synonyms are used with the basic sentence structure intact. The idea cannot be used without proper citations.

» Purdue Online Writing Lab: Paraphrase Practice
» Purdue Online Writing Lab: Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing
» Paraphrasing Practice to Improve Writing

Self Plagiarism Self Plagiarism is any prior work that is used in some form, either in full or in part, without attribution. Citing the work must be done the same way as any other author/source of information. Older papers and assignments must be cited even if it is your own work.

Accidental Plagiarism Accidental plagiarism is misquoting or unintentional paraphrasing the information, or using similar words. Accidental plagiarism is still taken seriously. It is your duty as a researcher to properly and carefully document your sources.

* The Common Knowledge Exception * Common Knowledge are facts that are most likely known by many people, however, if you use something directly from the source, you must cite it.

» MIT Handbook: What is Common Knowledge
» Harvard Guide to Using Sources: The Exception: Common Knowledge

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be avoided simply by citing everything whether the information is paraphrased, quoted, referenced. Any information that is used the source must be cited. Citing sources is important for academic integrity and to avoid the serious ramifications of plagiarism. Proper documentation establishes your credibility as a writer. Plagiarism and copyright infringements carries legal consequences and can be avoided. When in doubt, cite your sources!

  1. Take good organized notes when you are doing research.
  2. Cite sources using one of the standards either MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian etc)
  3. Paraphrase with proper attribution.
  4. Evaluate the source credibility.
  5. Determine if it is “common knowledge”.

To read more please see the » Purdue University Plagiarism and Paraphrasing

Online Plagiarism and Grammar Checkers

» Purdue Online Writing Lab: Avoiding Plagiarism
» Plagiarism Checker and Grammer Checker
» Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

High Profile Public Plagiarism Cases

» 10 High Profile Plagiarism Cases
» 5 Famous Plagiarists: Where Are They Now?
» Melania Trump's Speech Appears to Be Plagiarized

High School Plagiarism Cases

» High School Honors Students Punished for Plagiarism
» Gwinnett County Plagiarism Probe: Dozoen of Students Suspended
» Two Students Kicked off Semester at Sea for Plagiarism 
» Plagiarism Controversy Engulfs Kansas School

"As a result of technological advances in recent years, cheating in educational and academic circles
has become more sophisticated. At the same time, however, the ability of school personnel (and journalists)
to catch cheaters has also been enhanced." (New Frontiers in Cheating 2002, 2016)

MLA style:"New Frontiers in Cheating: Year In Review 2002". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 10 May. 2016 <>.
APA style:New Frontiers in Cheating: Year In Review 2002. (2016). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from
Harvard style:New Frontiers in Cheating: Year In Review 2002. 2016. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 10 May, 2016, from
Chicago Manual of Style:Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "New Frontiers in Cheating: Year In Review 2002", accessed May 10, 2016,

Information shared with permission from Mays, G. (2016) Plagiarism.Unpublished manuscript. University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.