About Plagiarism

NWCC defines plagiarism as the presentation of another person’s ideas, words, or work as one’s own. According to The Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA), “In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledg­ing its source.”

The CWPA states that the following are students’ responsibility when writing from sources:

  • Acknowledging clearly when and how [students] are drawing on the ideas or phrasings of others;
  • Learning the conventions for citing documents and acknowledging sources appropriate to the field they are studying; and
  • Consulting their instructors when they are unsure about how to acknowledge the contributions of others. (Council of Writing Program Administrators)

It is important to be aware of the consequences of plagiarism at NWCC: A faculty member may assign a failing grade to the assignment or the course depending on the magnitude of the infraction (NWCC Policy Manual, p. 50).

Given how problematic plagiarism can be, it is important to avoid it. Luckily, plagiarism is easy to avoid. There are three ways to avoid plagiarism:

  • Citing Sources (in-text and out-of-text)
  • Paraphrasing
  • Summarizing
  • Directly quoting


Council of Writing Program Administrators. (2003, January). Defining and avoiding plagiarism: The WPA statement on best practices.

Northwest Mississippi Community College. (2017) Policy Manual. Retrieved from

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