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Databases, Articles, Images, Ebooks and more Online Resources: Plagiarism and Ethics

This guide is about databases and other credible online resources at ECC Library. A list by subject, alphabetical or by type is included as well as tips and tutorial for certain databases such as EBSCO and Opposing Viewpoints.

Cloudy? about plagiarism

A Word About Plagiarism

Academic Honor Code Definitions and Clarifying Comments

"Plagiarism: Careless or deliberate use of the work or the ideas of another; representation of another’s work, words, ideas, or data as your own without permission or appropriate acknowledgement. *Examples: copying another’s paper, work, computer disk, or answers and submitting or representing it as your own; submitting an assignment which has been partially or wholly done by another and claiming it as yours; not properly acknowledging a source which has been summarized or paraphrased in your work; failure to acknowledge the use of another’s words with quotation marks." (ECC Student Handbook, 6)

Academic Honor Code Disciplinary Procedures

"A. Students who violate the Academic Honor Code will be confronted by the faculty member and referred to the Chief Student Affairs Officer (CSAO). Supporting documentation, when appropriate, will be forwarded to the CSAO. The CSAO will meet with the student, discuss the misconduct and review the Academic Honor Code and Disciplinary Procedures. The CSAO will maintain a file with supporting documentation and the name of the student will be placed on a disciplinary list accessible only to the CSAO and the Chief Academic Officer (CAO). The faculty member will determine how the violation will affect the student’s grade.

B. In the event that the student violates the Academic Honor Code a second time, the student will be required to meet with the CSAO. The student will be placed on academic probation. The faculty member will determine how the violation will affect the student’s grade. The student’s file and disciplinary list will be maintained by the CSAO.

C. If the Student violates the Academic Honor Code a third time, they will be subject to sanctions up to disciplinary suspension or expulsion." (ECC Student Handbook, 7)

Is it Plagiarism?

Here are some sites discussing Plagiarism.

Tips to Prevent Plagiarism

Be organized from the start! 

Create a separate note card for each source.

Record the Source (citation) of all resources.

   Book: Author, Title, Publisher, Place and Year of publication

   Periodical Article: Author, Title of Article and Periodical, Year, Vol. Issue and Pages

   Internet/Website: URL/Web Address, Author ,Title, and the Date site was accessed

Paraphrasing/Summarizing is indicating points and ideas in your own words.  Create a parenthetical reference to the source.

Enclose quoted material in quotation marks, note the page numbers and include a link to the source.

Ask a Learning Center English Specialist for assistance.


Source: Lord, Carrol. "An example of plagiarism." . Online image. Wikimedia. 5 Aug 2013. <>

Avoiding Plagiarism

Acknowledge sources by giving credit. Failing to do so, intentionally or not, is plagiarism.

Format of the information does not change if or when it should be credited. 

  • books
  • journal articles
  • charts
  • statistics
  • maps
  • interviews
  • television
  • radio
  • Internet
  • online databases
  • and many other types of material

When credit is properly attributed, you reduce the chance of plagiarizing.

Additional Resources

Paraphrase and Quote

There are two ways to convert information from sources to a paper.  Paraphrase is to put the information in your own words and quoting the information directly, keeping the author's exact wording.  In both cases, a citation that tells the reader where the information came from must be included.


When paraphrasing, do not copy any sections word-for-word or borrow too much language from the original.  The following example shows proper and improper paraphrasing.

Below is a section taken from a magazine article. The article title, "Exam Question," was written by Charles Lane and published in the magazine - New Republic. Here is a section taken from page 6 of the article.

For the most part, black students, even those from middle-class families, can't afford these courses.  Or they don't know about them because, reasonably enough, the test-prep companies target their marketing to concentrations of higher income (mostly white) students.

Improper Paraphrasing OR Plagiarism :

Charles Lane says that black students from middle-class families and other kinds of familes can't afford prep courses.  And sometimes they don't know about them because companies target their marketing campaigns to higher income (mostly white) students(6). 

The underlined words and phrases above show where the student has copied from the original source.  The structure of the sentences also mirror the original source.  Although this student cited the original source, this example would still constitute plagiarism. 

Proper Paraphrasing:

Charles Lane claims that for many black students test prep courses are not financially feasible, regardless of socioeconomic background.  Furthermore, Lane argues that many black students aren't aware of the courses available to them even if they could afford it, thanks to discriminatory marketing strategies that focus on students who are often both wealthier and white (6).  

This student has integrated ideas from the original text, but placed them in his/her own words. 


When integrating another person's exact words into a paper, alert the reader to this fact.  Two options to do so: first, by enclosing those words in quotation marks (in-text quotation), or, second, by indenting the borrowed section and setting it apart from your own writing (block quote).

In-text Quotations

To include an author's exact words within a sentence, name the author in a signal phrase.  Some signal phrases are, "In the words of...," "As so-and-so has noted..." and " so-and-so."  At the end of in-text quotations using a signal phrase giving the author's name, a citation at the end of the sentence is needed providing the page number(s) in parentheses. 


Charles Lane argues that "thorough, expertly taught preparation can raise a student's ability to cope with, and hence succeed on, a particular exam" (6).

When a signal phrase is not used, and the author's name is not introduced, it must be included in the citation.


It is clear that "thorough, expertly taught preparation can raise a student's ability to cope with, and hence succeed on, a particular exam" (Lane 6).


Source: Arthur C. Banks Library, Capital Community College.  Web. 26, July 2013.