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.

Student Success Starts Here: Plagiarism

A collection of tips and tools to help you successful.

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

At Tarrant County College, scholastic dishonesty is unacceptable and is not tolerated.

SCHOLASTIC DISHONESTY is defined as misconduct including, but not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, and collusion.

PLAGIARISM is defined as presenting as one's own the ideas or writings of another without acknowledging or documenting the source(s).

Consult pp. 49-50 of the TCC Student Handbook for more information on this important topic.

Additional Plagiarism Resources              

This is a good resource for understanding what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

This tool is used by TCC students to check their papers for plagiarism prior to submitting them for a grade. See your instructor for sign-up instructions.

This tutorial details what plagiarism is and includes a quiz to test your understanding of what and when to cite.

Read the Source in its Entirety:

  • It's easy to take something out of context if you only read a portion of it! If you read the entire source, you should have a better feel of the author's meaning.

Take Detailed Notes as you Read:

  • Anytime you note something word-for-word, immediately place it in quotation marks. Also note what page or section you found it on.
  • On each page, make sure you note the original source and the date you accessed the source. This will make citation much easier, especially if you are working with multiple sources or doing research over a long stretch of time.
  • Try not to mix your own thoughts and commentary with excerpts from your source. Keep them on separate pages, draw two columns on your page, or switch your pen color.
  • If you find it difficult to take notes with electronic sources - or if you find yourself drawn to the copy-paste method - print out your sources and deal with them in print form.

Return to Your Notes Later

  • In order to do this, you must not procrastinate on your projects. If you don't have sufficient time, you won't do your best work, and it may lead you to make poor decisions when including your sources. Remember, if you get caught plagiarizing, the situation or your intentions won't be an excuse. Build in time to synthesize and properly work in your sources.
  • Identify which sources are best for inclusion. Understand when you have to cite. Then decide whether you should directly quote, summarize, or paraphrase. If you are directly quoting, double-check your notes against the source for accuracy. If you are summarizing or paraphrasing:
    • Make sure the source is fresh in your mind, but not right in front of you. If you see the original text, you are more likely to want to use their terms and sentence structure.
    • Check your writing against the original. Remember, you should have changed the sentence structure and the language but the meaning of the source should still be the same. Any language that is unique to the source should be placed in quotation marks or removed. You may find it necessary to do several edits.

Consult with Experts

  • If you need a second opinion, ask!  Ask the librarian, tutor (academic labs – math, science, writing, etc.) supplemental instructor, or your professor. 

Plagiarism in Higher Education

John Ydstie visited the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and the University of Maryland at College Park to talk to students and faculty about plagiarism.

Guests on the program discuss the plague of plagiarism in an era where its easier than ever to steal others work.

Avoiding Plagiarism