32 Academic Integrity and APA Citation

During your time at NSCC, it’s important that you complete your work with honesty and integrity. 

Academic Integrity means completing all of your work in a way that is honest and ethical. This includes giving credit to other people when using their ideas.

When you write your assignments and research papers you will include information and quotes from the sources you found to support the ideas you’re writing about. When you use other people’s ideas, words, images, or other content, it’s very important to cite them properly to avoid plagiarism.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using someone else’s work and not acknowledging it with a citation.

NSCC defines plagiarism as “presenting, in any format, someone else’s ideas, presentations, writing, artistic work, or creations, whether verbal, print, structural, design or electronic, in whole or in part, as one’s own, by failing to credit the source. Plagiarism can be intentional or occur through carelessness”[1]

If a student is caught plagiarizing, they may be asked to redo their assignment, lose marks, get a zero on the assignment, and in severe cases, may be suspended from the College. If a student is found to have plagiarized, they may have to attend an academic hearing with their faculty member, Advisor, and Academic Chair. You can read the NSCC Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure  (NSCC Office 365 login required) to understand your responsibilities as a student. 

Remember: “I didn’t mean to” is not an excuse for plagiarism. It is considered plagiarism whether it is intentional or not.

How to avoid plagiarizing.

  • Use in-text citations and a reference list to indicate which parts of your assignment or paper came from sources you found in your research.
  • Cite all of your sources including, but not limited to books, journals, newspapers, videos, audio, images, websites, social media, personal communications, government documents.
  • At NSCC we primarily use the APA Style (7th edition) for citation and reference formatting. The APA Citation Style Guide can help you find the proper citation format to fit the different type of sources you’re using.
  • When in doubt, your Campus Library staff can help.

In-text citations

In-text citations give enough information to lead your reader to your Reference page. Put the quote you’ve taken from the source in quotation marks, and follow it with an in-text citation in parentheses: (author’s last name, year, and page number)

Reference Page

Your Reference page is the final page of your assignment, paper, or Brightspace post. It’s where the reader can find enough information to locate the original source that you’ve quoted or paraphrased. The Reference page will include a full list of the sources you used in creating your assignment.

An Example of using apa style in your assignment:

The following is an example of how to take information from a book and properly cite it in your assignment. This process involves creating both an in-text citation and a reference and including them in your work.

 In-text citation example:


“In Alaska, the ground is riddled with ice wedges that were created during the last glaciation” (Kolbert, 2006, p. 16).

 Reference list entry:

Locate the following information from the source and include it on the Reference page:

Author. (Date). Title. Publisher.


Kolbert, E. (2006). Field notes from a catastrophe: Man, nature, and climate change. Bloomsbury.

Try it!

  • Take some time to explore the Academic Integrity Module in the NSCC and Me student orientation course in Brightspace (NSCC Office 365 login required).
  • You’re enrolled automatically and will see it in your list of courses.
  • You can review it at any time throughout the academic year.

Extend Your Learning

  1. NSCC. (2017, October 1). Academic integrity policy. https://www.nscc.ca/about/publications/policies-procedures/policies/academic-integrity-policy.asp


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