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Information Literacy: Citation

What is Plagiarism?

This is the definition of plagiarism as it appears in the Rasmussen College course catalog and syllabi.

Plagiarism is the act of representing an individual's or organization's words, thoughts, or ideas as one's own. 

Examples of plagiarism include:

  1. Using information (a paraphrase or quotation, in whole or in part) from a source without attempting to give credit to the author of that source.
  2. Using charts, illustrations, images, figures, equations, etc., without citing the source.
  3. Using an academic exercise (in whole or in part) purchased or copied from a ghostwriter or paper/essay mill.
  4. Copyright infringement or piracy, including the use, alteration, or duplication of media, software, code, or information when expressly prohibited or where copyright exists or is implied.
  5. Submitting work previously graded in another course without prior approval by the course instructor; or, submitting the same work in two or more concurrent courses without prior approval by all course instructors.

To ensure you are not plagiarizing, always cite (document) your sources when you refer to information you learned during your research or study.  Even if you've summarized the information or if you've rephrased it into your own words, you still need to cite the source of the information.

Remember the basic rule of plagiarism:  if you use, mention, refer to, quote, summarize, paraphrase, describe...someone's else's ideas or facts, other than your own, you must cite them.  There is the whole area of "common knowledge," example: the United States has 50 states, which you do not have to cite.  

For additional explanations, examples, instructional guides, and videos, please visit the Research Help page of our online library, located on the student portal.  Also, please visit our Preventing Plagiarism section in the APA Citation guide.

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Plagiarism In The Digital Age

Lynch, L. (2011, September 16). Cheating in school: How the digital age affects cheating and plagiarism. Retrieved from

Citation Information

uAlbertaDoS. (2013, December 18). Plagiarism rap (cite your sources) [Video file]. Retrieved from

An important part of the Information Literacy process is recognizing the importance of citing your sources and giving credit to the original creators of the information you are using.  

The Information Literacy Framework states:

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities do the following:

  • Respect the original ideas of others
  • Value the skills, time, and effort needed to produce knowledge
  • See themselves as contributors to the information marketplace rather than only consumers of it
  • Are inclined to examine their own information privilege

Click above to see a Pinterest board on Plagiarism!

Pirillo & Fitz. (2015, February 18). 5 most effective methods for avoiding plagiarism. Retrieved from

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