Avoiding plagiarism and Using APA

Joseph Reagle



If you directly copy or summarize someone else’s words or ideas without acknowledging the source.

Word-for-word plagiarism is … a sequence of 7 or more words from another source, [that] fails to identify the quoted passage, … the full in-text citation crediting the author(s), and … the bibliographic reference. (FrickEtal 2016)

Academic integrity

The promotion of independent and original scholarship ensures that students derive the most from their educational experience and their pursuit of knowledge. (Academic Integrity)

Violations include cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and participating in or encouraging dishonesty.

Violators will receive zero credit and be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.


Correct citation

In examining technology, we have to remember that computers are not the first technology people have had to deal with. Frick (1991) believes that the first technology was the primitive modes of communication used by prehistoric people before the development of spoken language (p. 10).

Reference: Frick, T. (1991). Restructuring education through technology. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.


(FrickEtal 2016)

APA variations

According to Jones (1998), “Silky terriers have soft hair” (p. 19).

Jones (1998) found “silky terriers have soft hair” (p. 19); do you agree?

She stated, “Silky terriers have soft hair” (Jones, 1998, p. 19), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

—See “APA signal phrases” in APA or Hacker

APA misc.

  • use “p. 53” not “pg.53”; “pp. 5-7” for multiple pages; no page/paragraph numbers needed for webpages
  • citations don’t have to be at end of sentence, place them with the author if mentioned earlier
  • collapse repeated citations occurring within single paragraph
  • if quoting a source found in another source, cite as a secondary source: “In Smith’s study (as cited in Flebert, 1993), …”

Also see APA cheat-sheet and self quiz.