The Writing Center's website has moved!

Please find us at

To continue using the old site, click outside the white box. Note that this old site will no longer be updated. If you are looking for a specific page on the new site, please consult this list of links from the old site mapped to the new site.

Happy New Year 2015!

Plagiarism is when an author represents someone else's intellectual property as his or her own work. Authors are most commonly at risk of plagiarizing when they fail to adequately cite the original source material from which they took words and ideas. Plagiarism can occur in many forms and can range from a lack of citations to incorrect paraphrasing or actual direct copy and pasting of a source's phrasing into another author's own paper.

To avoid plagiarism, Walden students should follow the rules the American Psychological Association (APA) has set forth. APA asks that authors follow formatting and frequency guidelines to cite all sources that they have used in a paper. Citing sources helps authors in three ways:

  • Gives credit to sources authors are quoting and paraphrasing;
  • Tells the reader when authors are using sources to support ideas; and
  • Directs the reader to the reference list and the full publication information for sources.

Avoiding plagiarism by properly citing sources helps both the author and the reader. Without citations, the reader:

  • Will not know what sources the author is using;
  • Will think all of the paper consists of only the author's ideas;
  • Will think that the author is not basing his or her ideas on research, but on opinion; and
  • Will not follow how the author learned information in the paper.

If you think about the benefits properly citing sources gives the author and the reader, it makes sense that scholars would want to be as conscientious about citing as possible.  Citing sources maintains the author's integrity, creates credibility for the author, shows the author is engaging in scholarship, and avoids plagiarism.

Walden University Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

These policies are taken from Walden University's (2010) Code of Conduct:

Statements made and documents supplied by Walden applicants and students must be complete and accurate. The university will not tolerate any misrepresentation by a student or applicant of past or current academic programs, degrees, or professional accomplishments. If unexplained discrepancies appear between statements or documents provided to Walden and information obtained otherwise, except in the case of misspellings and other such inadvertencies, applicants may be rejected for admission and enrolled students may be dismissed.
As such, no student shall claim credit for another's work or accomplishments or use another's ideas in a written paper or presentation without appropriate attribution through citations and references. The consequences of plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty can include nonacceptance of work submitted, a grade of "NC" (No Credit) or "F" (Unsatisfactory) for the course in which the violation occurs, written reprimands posted to the student's file, and suspension or dismissal from the University.

Writing Center Policies Regarding Plagiarism

The Walden Writing Center is committed to assisting students learn and utilize effective source citation practices and paraphrasing skills.  As a scholar, you will need to ensure that any time you use ideas, information, or wording from another author or source, you give that source proper credit. Readers or publishers will likely consider it a type of plagiarism if these citations are not included.

If you submit a paper to the Writing Center for review, we may run a check if we suspect plagiarized material.  If plagiarism is confirmed, we will ask you to review resources on academic integrity and revise your work before making another appointment.

Because Walden and the academic community take plagiarism very seriously, you will want to ensure that your paper adheres to all of APA's policies for citation. To do so, please review the resources on the Writing Center website concerning academic integrity and plagiarism.  You can find information about plagiarism here and an explanation of academic integrity, as well as information about Turnitin here. In addition, the archived webinar of "Using and Crediting Sources in APA" can help explain why and how to cite sources.

Standards for Written Assignments

Walden University expects the submitted work of students to reflect the standards of the scholarly community, adhere to American Psychological Association (APA) format guidelines, and be written in fair and accurate language.

The guidelines for the APA are published in the following reference manual:

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the

     American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC:


Plagiarism Checklist

The Writing Center has developed a checklist to assist students in double-checking their work and scholarship practices to avoid plagiarism.  Download the checklist and use it for each assignment to establish good academic integrity practices!

Academic Integrity Course

SBSF 3100/3101 Skills for Academic Integrity (1 cr./1 sem. cr.)

This 3-week course is intended for students who want to develop a better understanding of how to read, summarize, quote, and paraphrase texts following APA guidelines.

See your academic advisor for more information and to enroll!