Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

A Student Guide

First-Year Writing Program Plagiarism Policy

  • The First-Year Writing Program at Montclair State University values students’ honest efforts in the classroom and as writers. Plagiarism is strongly discouraged and this class will educate you about what it is and how to avoid it. Should you choose to plagiarize—turning in written work as your own that you have copied from some other source, whether a website, print media, or even another student—your professor will submit your plagiarized paper and the source materials from which you have plagiarized to the Student Conduct office and you will face disciplinary action from the University. Your professor additionally reserves the right, when plagiarism is proven with documentation, to fail you for the semester. Should you be accused of plagiarism, you have the right to appeal the decision and also to request a meeting with your professor and the First-Year Writing Program Director, Jessica Restaino.


Below you will find several websites from other colleges and from a textbook publisher that are designed to aid students in understanding and developing the skills necessary to avoid plagiarism. As well, students will find extensive discussion of plagiarism and appropriate citation of outside sources in the handbook that all students are required to purchase for College Writing I.

The Plagiarism Spectrum: 10 Types of Unoriginal Work This report from identifies ten different types of plagiarism from a survey of 900 secondary education instructors worldwide.

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing This site provides a useful discussion and these methods for citing sources, offered by the Purdue University Writing Lab. 

Avoiding Plagiarism  This site, authored by Sharon Williams of Hamilton College, offers examples of how to cite properly. It also provides examples of improper quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing. 

How Not to Plagiarize This site from the University of Toronto includes answers to basic questions students are likely to have regarding plagiarism.

Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It In this site from Indiana University readers are offered explanations and examples of plagiarism and appropriate citation.

Plagiarism Self-Test An online self-test from the Colby, Bates and Bowdoin (CBB) archive that simulates a number of plagiarism dilemmas a student may encounter throughout a semester of writing. 

WPA Statement on Best Practices An online guide that defines plagiarism, suggests some causes of plagiarism, proposes a set of responsibilities for students, teachers and administrators, and recommends a set of practices for teaching and learning that reduces plagiarism.

The Citation Project This site provides systematic data, discussion, and resources to help instructors and administrators with devleoping plagiarism policies and with developing effective instruction methods for the ethical use of sources.

Plagiarism: What We Know A Prezi presentation from First-Year Writing Director, Jessica Restaino


All faculty teaching Introduction to Writing, College Writing I and College Writing II respond promptly and seriously to any instances of plagiarism.  Students who are caught plagiarizing can expect automatic failure of the course and referral to the Dean of Students’ office for disciplinary sanctions. 

The University Definition and Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

Documentation Styles

A good handbook available at the library or any bookstore—will give you thorough and complete information about documentation.  

  • The first step for documentation is to find out from your instructor what style is required: APA, MLA, Chicago, or another style.

  • The second step is to prepare your documentation as you gather your data; in other words, keep careful records relating to author, title, publication date, publisher, page numbers and any other information that your documentation style requires and keep these records with the notes that you take from each source.

Below are links to Sprague Library's guide to select documentation styles: