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Academic Integrity

How to Avoid Plagiarism

How to Avoid Plagiarism

[Give yourself enough time

Many students plagiarize because they are stressed out or completing an assignment at the last minute. Research can be time-consuming. Start early!

Get familiar with the idea of paraphrasing, summarizing, & quoting

Check out this guide

Avoid temptation

If you think you might accidentally plagiarize, don't share papers or read your friends' paper.

Talk to a librarian or your professor

Research and writing can be a very messy process and librarians and your professor understand your struggle. If you are not sure, ask and you will not get in trouble!

Ask for clarification on your assignment

If you don’t understand any language in the assignment, it's your responsibility to ask your professor or go to the IESC.

Seek out resources on campus

CSUN offers a variety of sources on academic integrity, research, and writing. Check with the IESC, the library, and LRC.

Learn to cope with parental and peer pressure

Plagiarism can be a result of social pressure. Seek out help on campus. Check out this webpage.]

Tools to Check for Plagiarism

Important to know

  • Plagiarism checkers are NOT 100% accurate. You still need to use your own judgment when writing and citing.
  • Review all sections of this module to know why, when, and how to cite. When in doubt, cite!
  • Be careful while using free software as they may save and sell your paper to essay mills. Other students can use it and you can be accused of plagiarism.
  • If you are very concerned, you can check your own work with software like Grammarly or EasyBib for a fee.
  • Ask your professor or a librarian for help when you have any questions or concerns.



Many CSUN professors use Turnitin, an online plagiarism detection tool, to screen student work against a digital database of publications, papers, and websites. If your professor has allowed students to see their Turninit originality report/similarity report, take advantage of it and check your paper for plagiarism before submitting it. You can find more information about accessing and interpreting the report on this webpage from Tufts University and this Turnitin's webpage.

Screenshot of a Turnitin page in Canvas



A free account with EasyBib allows for 20 suggestions on writing style, grammar, and sentence structure. For a fee, it will also check your paper for plagiarism.

 Get suggestions on grammar and writing style

 Check for accidental plagiarism

 Directly add any citations you missed!



Grammarly’s plagiarism checker detects plagiarism in your text and checks for other writing issues for a fee.

  Catch plagiarism from ProQuest databases and over 16 billion web pages.

    Get feedback on grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and sentence structure.


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