The Plagiarism Trap

You can fall into the plagiarism trap for many reasons. Easy access to information on the Internet and feelings of confusion, and stress over grades may cause you to make poor choices. If you are experiencing these feelings, take the necessary steps to help yourself avoid the plagiarism trap.

Don't let confusion lead to plagiarism


Being confused about how and when to cite material can lead to unintentional acts of plagiarism.Take the time to become informed about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.  Building good note-taking and writing habits help clarify your research process in case any questions or concerns arise about the content of your paper. 

For more idea about how to develop good researching and writing habits, we suggest reviewing  Working Habits that Work from Princeton University's academic integrity web page.

Remember, the responsibility to understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it is yours.

Plan ahead so you won't be overwhelmed


It is easy to feel overwhelmed in a competitive environment.  Unfortunately, poor time management that results from becoming overwhelmed can lead to plagiarism. If you're in danger of being caught in the trap, first stop procrastinating! If you are having trouble getting started with an assignment, break the assignment into smaller chucks. Using this approach can help reduce your anxiety and make the task more manageable.

If the topic has you feeling overwhelmed, e-mail or talk to your instructor before its too late. He or she can help clarify the concepts and provide direction.

You can manage your stress and promote good decision making


Stress can lead you to make poor choices and poor choices can lead to plagiarism. Reduce your stress by getting plenty of rest and exercise and avoid junk food and alcohol. Counseling services are available at OHSU for students who need someone to listen and provide support.

Seek help if you need assistance.


Additional Resources