Plagiarism Awareness

Plagiarism Awareness Module and Quiz

Welcome Bradley students! Bradley University wants you to succeed academically. This plagiarism awareness module and quiz is designed to help you understand exactly what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Please begin by viewing the video. When you finish, click on the gray arrow to begin the module.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of representing another person’s words or ideas as your own. Plagiarism is a form of cheating.

Plagiarism occurs when you do not give credit to the sources you use to write a paper or create a project. It can take the form of copying another person’s work directly, changing a few words around in a sentence written by someone else, or using someone else’s arguments or line of thinking as if they are your original ideas.

Plagiarism is not borrowing; it is stealing. Whether it is done intentionally or unintentionally, plagiarism is a very serious offense.

What Are the Consequences for Plagiarism?

Bradley University has a zero-tolerance policy against plagiarism. This means that no act of plagiarism, large or small, will be tolerated at Bradley. 

Bradley’s consequences for plagiarism relate directly to the assignment or assessment that is plagiarized. However, the consequences vary depending on the type of assignment or assessment that is plagiarized.

Regular Course Assignments or Assessments

When a Bradley student is found to have plagiarized a regular course assignment or assessment, he or she will receive a zero for that particular assignment or assessment. The score of zero is then calculated with all other grades earned in that course.

For example, a student enrolled in COM 103 copies a large section of his first speech directly from an episode of Mad Men but does not cite the show. The COM 103 instructor discovers the plagiarism and awards the student a zero for his speech. The student is careful not to plagiarize again. By the end of the semester, he has accumulated enough points on his remaining speeches and other assignments to earn a final course grade of C.

Final Course Assignments or Assessments

In the case of the COM 103 student, the consequence of plagiarism does not dramatically affect the student’s final course grade. However, when a Bradley student is found to have plagiarized on a final exam or other final course project, he or she will receive an F as the final course grade.

For example, a student enrolled in SOC 300 borrows a friend’s final paper from the previous semester and uses entire sentences in her own final paper for the course. She does not cite her friend’s paper or even mention that she used material written by her friend. The SOC 300 professor discovers the plagiarism and awards the student a final course grade of F even though the student’s course average leading up to the final paper was an A-. As a result of the F, the student’s grade point average plummets and she has to re-take the course the next semester to fulfill her graduation requirements.

Repeated Offenses

These examples describe Bradley University’s consequences for plagiarism the first time plagiarism is discovered. All cases of plagiarism are reported to the Student Judicial System where they are reviewed for further action. Repeated or aggravated acts of plagiarism are likely to lead to additional consequences, including dismissal from the university. 

For more information about Bradley University’s Academic Integrity Policy, please visit:

How Is Plagiarism Detected?

The decision of whether or not plagiarism has occurred is made by the course instructor during the grading process. Various types of plagiarism detection software, such as Turnitin and Vericite, are available to assist instructors in confirming or disconfirming suspected cases of plagiarism.

What Happens When a Bradley Student Is Suspected of Plagiarizing?

When a Bradley course instructor suspects that a student has plagiarized, the instructor may choose to meet with the student to discuss the situation. During this meeting, the student will have an opportunity to explain the process and sources he or she used to complete the assignment or assessment in question. If the course instructor believes that plagiarism has occurred, the instructor’s department chair and college dean will be notified, and a report will be filed with Bradley’s Student Judicial System. 

If a Bradley student believes he or she has been wrongly accused of plagiarism, or seeks guidance after being accused of plagiarism, the student should consult with the Academic Ombuds.

For more information about Bradley University’s Academic Ombuds, please visit the undergraduate catalog.

How Can I Avoid Plagiarism?

As a Bradley student, the smartest thing you can do is avoid plagiarizing in the first place. You can avoid plagiarism by documenting, citing, and referencing the sources you use each time you write a paper or create a project.

What Is a Source?

If the information in a paper or project does not come from you, the writer, then it comes from another source. Documenting, citing, and referencing your sources makes it clear to others where the information you used came from and gives credit to those sources.

Primary Sources

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic. Primary sources include documents, sound and video recordings, and other types of information that were created at or near the time being studied. Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 speech “The Gettysburg Address” is an example of a primary source.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources provide second-hand information or indirect evidence concerning a topic. Secondary sources provide information based on research about or interpretation of a primary source. Lincoln, David Herbert Donald’s 1996 biography of Abraham Lincoln, is an example of a secondary source.

When Do I Need to Document, Cite, and Reference My Sources?

Whenever you use someone else’s words or ideas, you should document, cite, and reference your sources. These three actions clearly credit the work of others, which is the best thing you can do to avoid plagiarism.

Document your Sources

Documentation involves giving credit to a source by making it clear that you borrowed it from someone else. When you document a source, you should name it specifically and also provide complete information on your bibliography page so that others can locate it if they want to.

Following are examples of different types of sources that should be documented:

Example 1: (print source)

Our course textbook, Strategic Marketing Management, identifies strategic decisions and tactical decisions as equally necessary in circumventing price wars.

Chernev, A. (2012). Strategic Marketing Management (7th ed.). Chicago, IL: Cerebellum Press.

Example 2: (electronic source)

According to the National Peanut Board (, 94% of households in the United States have a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard right now.

National Peanut Board (2014). History of peanuts & peanut butter. [Website.] Retrieved from

Example 3: (image)

Gogh, Vincent van.  The Starry Night.  1889. Oil on canvas.  29 in. x 36 ¼ in.  Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Example 4: (media)

Human beings were born to learn; all it takes is motivation and perseverance (You Can Learn Anything, 2014).

“You Can Learn Anything,” YouTube video, 1:30, posted by “Khan Academy,” August 19, 2014,

Example 5: (personal communication)

As incoming freshman at our own university prepared for the 2010-2011 academic year, 95% planned to bring a laptop computer to campus, and almost 60% planned to bring a hand-held device with WiFi capabilities (L. M. Bradley, personal communication, July 16, 2010).    

Cite your Sources

Citation involves specifically crediting sources each time you use them. Both direct quotations and paraphrased ideas should be cited.

A source cited within the body of a paper or project is called an in-text citation. It looks something like this: (Arnett, 2012).

In addition to providing an in-text citation within the body of your work, you should provide complete information about the source on your bibliography page so that others can locate it if they want to.

The format or style used to cite your sources varies by academic discipline. The following examples of in-text citations are in American Psychological Association (APA) Style:

Example 1: (direct quotation) 

“Friends provide a bridge between the close attachments young people have to their family members and the close attachment they will eventually have to a romantic partner” (Arnett, 2012, p. 237).

Arnett, J.J. (2012). Adolescence and emerging adulthood: A cultural approach (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall.

Example 2: (paraphrase)

Friendships play an important role in adolescent development. They help adolescents transition from the family relationships they experience during childhood to the romantic relationships they will experience in adulthood (Arnett, 2012). 

Arnett, J.J. (2012). Adolescence and emerging adulthood: A cultural approach (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall.

Reference your Sources 

A reference is complete information about your source so that others can see what type of source you used (e.g., book, journal article, image, website, etc.) and locate it if they wish to do so. References are typically listed in alphabetical order at the end of a paper or project. The format or style used to reference your sources varies by academic discipline.

The following examples are in Modern Language Association (MLA) style, American Psychological Association (APA) style, and Chicago/Turabian style:

Example 1: (MLA style)

Works Cited
Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. New York: Vintage International, 1993. Print.

Example 2: (APA style)

References (2015). Official website for the State of Illinois. [Website.] Retrieved from

Example 3: (Chicago/Turabian style)

Don A. Dillman, Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, 2nd ed. (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007), 118-119.

You may be confused about the terms Works Cited, References, and Notes in the previous examples. Different citation styles use different terms for referencing sources.  Be sure to use the term that is consistent with the citation style you are using. 

How Do I Document, Cite, and Reference My Sources?

Each academic discipline uses a certain academic citation style. These styles may look a bit different from each other, but all of them have the same purpose: attributing proper credit to each source of information used.

Following are the major academic citation styles and the academic disciplines that use them. Each one is linked to an external website that provides information and examples for that specific academic citation style:

During the course of your education at Bradley, you will probably be required to use at least two different academic citation styles. Fortunately, a variety of online sources are available to help you document, cite, and reference correctly using whichever style is required.

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a wealth of information for academic writers using APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

Citation Machine is an online tool that will help you create a properly formatted citation in APA, MLA, Chicago or Turabian style.

If you are not sure which citation style to use, be sure to consult the professor who assigned your paper or project. You will need to use the citation style guide appropriate for the discipline of the particular course or assignment, even if it is different from what you are accustomed to using in your major.

If I Need Assistance, Who Can I Ask?

Any time you need assistance documenting, citing, or referencing your sources or using the appropriate academic citation style, please talk with your course instructor, ask a librarian in the Cullom-Davis Library, or visit Bradley’s Writing Center. Located in Bradley Hall, the Writing Center is an academic support service available to all Bradley students. Appointments can be made by calling (309) 677-3254.

Additionally, you can return to this Plagiarism Awareness Module any time you’d like to review the information and examples and use the web resources that are linked to the module. To get to the module, go to the A-Z Index on Bradley’s homepage and click on Plagiarism Awareness.

Why Is All of This Worth the Trouble?

Doing everything you can to avoid plagiarism is an ethical decision that can positively – or negatively – affect your learning experiences and professional preparation now, and your job prospects and career path in the future.

By not plagiarizing, you will be better able to understand and articulate the topics and issues in your field, while strengthening your thinking and writing skills in the process.

By giving credit to others in the papers you write and the projects you create, you will engage fully in the learning process, maintain high academic standards in your own work, and do your part to ensure honesty for everyone involved in scholarship, research, and creative production.

As a disciplined and honest writer, you will reap the satisfaction of a job well done with each paper you write and project you create. It is well worth the trouble not to plagiarize.

Please Watch This Video

After watching this video, you have completed Bradley's Plagiarism Awareness Module and can click on the link to take the quiz.