Avoiding Plagiarism

Minimizing Your Plagiarism Risk

Recognizing when you need support is crucial. Most instances of plagiarism occur when students are stressed and desperate, or simply don’t know what support is available. Outside factors (like stress and pressure) can increase your risk of plagiarism, even if you know how to avoid it in your writing. JHU offers many sources of support that can help you reduce your risk.

Many factors can change your risk of plagiarism, including those inside and outside of the classroom. Review the lists below to see how your risk can be increased or decreased.

Elements That Increase Your Risk of Plagiarism

  • Buying a paper
  • Reusing a paper written for a previous class without the approval of your instructor
  • Working with a group, without the instructor’s permission
  • Deciding to paraphrase and summarize instead of quoting, since you don’t have all the source information
  • Skipping adding citations in the text because you will just add the references at the end
  • Quoting, even though you are unsure of the original source


Elements That Decrease Your Risk of Plagiarism

  • Using RefWorks or another citation management tool
  • Documenting your research and taking notes with quotations and citations
  • Meeting with your instructor as soon as possible to discuss ways in which you could get the assignment done
  • Talking to a librarian about your project -- visit the library home page and select the "Chat with a Librarian" tab (usually at the bottom right of the page), to begin an initial  conversation.
  • Creating a study plan


Cheat Sheet