Indeed, plagiarism is a serious offense that can cause you to earn a zero on a paper, fail a course, or, worst case scenario, to get kicked out of school.
There are four types of plagiarism, of which two you are most likely aware and two you are not.
The four types of plagiarism are:
In order to avoid losing a grade, failing a class, or getting the boot from university, just make it a habit that you will cite your sources as you collect them for your research, even if you don't actually end up using them. This way you won't find yourself in a position where you have the information, but not the source information (authors, title, publication information, pages numbers, etc.) to cite it according to MLA 7th ed. standards or APA 6th ed. standards.
Also, citing your sources makes you a better researcher. It helps you understand why we have standards for citation. For example, the address to my apartment is based on a standard that we all understand: number and street name, apt. #, city, state, zip code. MLA citations work exactly the same way. Once you begin to create the citations, you will notice the patterns within the different formulae to help you distinguish, just by looking at a citation, whether it refers to a book, a journal article or a website...just like the address has different patterns to tell us whether we are being directed to a house, an apartment, or a business suite.
To help you learn how to cite and develop your works cited page, use NoodleTools. It is a self-guided teaching tool that also directs you to build a perfect works cited page.
Lesson 4: Part 1--Plagiarism Tutorial Take the plagiarism tutorial and take the quiz. Make sure you email it to your instructor.
Lesson 4: Part 2--Citing Your Sources: Noodletools Watch the NoodleTools tutorial videos on the research guide, linked as a red tab above, "Citing Your Sources: NoodleTools." The two tutorials of most importance to you are "Create Your Account" and "Create a Bibliography." When you are finished, take the associated quiz.
Lesson 4: Part 3 is a quiz. When you are finished watching the tutorials, complete the quiz located on the drop-down option on this lesson's red tab.