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Avoiding Plagiarism

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What are some alternatives to plagiarizing?

There are a number of alternatives to plagiarizing. If you have arrived at a moment when you are deciding between plagiarizing or not, consider the following:

  • If you're still not clear if you're citing material correctly or even if you need to, it's safer to err on the side of citing too much or too often.

    Set up an appointment with a Writing Center tutor by calling 656-3280, or ask your professor for advice.

    Sometimes asking such questions during class helps other students too. Discuss plagiarism in class!

  • If you're under time pressure, and copying or buying a paper seems the only solution to getting your assignment in on time, stop a minute.

    Talk to your professor and request an extension for your paper.

    At worst, the professor will not grant the extension, but a failing grade for a paper (or even a course) is better than disciplinary action.

    Disciplinary action may involve a hearing and sanctions ranging from disciplinary probation to suspension to expulsion. Give your professor a call. Professors are human too.

  • When students lose perspective in the obsessive quest to get As in all their classes, the disappointment of a lower grade may seem to outweigh the risk of getting caught for plagiarism.

    If you feel like you're under this much pressure, talk to a counselor or spiritual advisor.

  • Other alternatives include taking care of yourself in productive ways.

    Remember, plagiarism is not a good alternative. Take advantage of the resources below to find viable alternatives.

Resources for You

Clemson Faculty

Now that we've finally convinced you that it's okay to talk to your professor, here's the phonebook: Clemson Phonebook

Clemson Librarians

Librarians are there to help you with your assignments too.

In addition to helping you to find good sources for your bibliography, they can also help you find information about correctly citing those sources. There are several ways to contact a librarian:

  • come to the Reference Desk
  • email your question
  • call with your question (Cooper Reference Desk: 656-3024; Architecture Reference Desk: 656-3933)
  • set up an appointment with your subject librarian (there's one for every major)

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center offers workshops on time management and techniques for managing stress, all factors in bad decision making.

They also have handouts on a range of topics, from ideas on note-taking to reasons to talk to your professors.

Call 656-6452 to schedule an appointment

The Writing Center

Call the Writing Center in 305 Daniel (656-3280) and made an appointment with a tutor.

Writing Center hours:

Monday 8:00am to 8:00pm
Tues.-Fri. 8:00am to 5:00pm

CAPS : Counseling and Psychological Services (Redfern Health Center)

CAPS provides a number of valuable services to Clemson students.


If you're having problems, CAPS counselors are there to listen to you, support you, and help you through them.


Stress and substance abuse are often the triggers for decisions you might regret later -- like choosing to copy other people's work rather than submitting your own. Don't let it get to that point!


Follow the link above for more information or call 656-2451 to set up an appointment with a counselor.


Clemson Policies on Academic Integrity

Academic Regulations 2005-2006
   (Includes a section on Academic Integrity)

Clemson's Academic Integrity Statement



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Adapted from Duke University Libraries' "Avoiding Plagiarism"
Avoiding Plagiarism