The NU Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as "intentionally representing the words, ideas, or data of another as one’s own in any academic exercise without providing proper citation."
Plagiarism is an act of cheating.
Since it is a serious violation of intellectual integrity, plagiarism harms the reputation of the university as well as the individual.
See concrete examples here: Plagiarism: what it is and how to avoid it. (Indiana University)
Citing and documentation adds considerable time to the composition of a paper. Always give yourself plenty of time to work on a paper, composing the bibliography and inserting footnotes as you go along.
As you work, keep careful records of where the ideas in your research come from by taking good notes, highlighting, keeping original printouts or photocopyies and backing up disks.
Remember that the only time that you don't need to cite a source is when an idea is either common knowledge or your own creation.
Examples of common knowledge:
Examples of your own creation:
When in doubt, ask your instructor or a librarian for help.
Become familiar with documentation guidelines, such as APA, MLA, etc., and find out the documentation style used in your subject area.
When quoting or paraphrasing ideas, theories, data or words that were created or authored by someone other than you, make sure that you both cite them in the text, and document them in the "works cited" or bibliography at the end of your paper.
Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers by Robert Harris
Provides ideas on designing a curriculum that prevents students from plagiarizing, also covers detection tools.
TurnItIn is a plagiarism detection service available through Blackboard. Use TurnItIn to collect papers and assignments from the students by creating TurnItIn Assignments using the Control Panels of your Blackboard course. Once the work is collected from your students is is automatically compared to a variety of sources including the Internet and other papers that have been submitted in the past. More information is available from the Campus Information Systems Help Desk at x4357.