Skip to Main Content

Plagiarism & Writing with Sources: Writing Mistakes

"Students are not guilty of plagiarism when they try in good faith to acknowledge others’ work but fail to do so accurately or fully."

-- Council of Writing Program Administrators, January 2003


Remember: plagiarism is a deliberate act of academic dishonesty. COD Library strongly believes in the distinction between plagiarism (actively cheating) and novice writing mistakes (such as incomplete or missing citations, patchwriting, etc.). 

As you learn how to write as a college student, you will make mistakes!

Why do students make writing mistakes?

College, or academic, writing has its own set of rules that are different from other kinds of writing. As with any rules, we learn them by making mistakes. If you have ever learned to drive a car or play a new game, you are familiar with the feeling of not knowing all the rules. 

Mistakes, of course, are unintentional - they a natural part of learning. Whether you were taught academic writing in high school or never learned it at all, there are many opportunities for pitfalls and just as many opportunities to learn something new.

How well do you know the rules of college writing?

Check-In: Academic Writing

  • URL:
  • Last Updated: Jan 18, 2024 11:21 AM
  • Print Page