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Don't Be a CopyCat: Plagiarism 101 Library Workshop


The Michael Schwartz Library and CSU Writing Center is pleased to offer a series of remedial workshops both online and in person for students who have committed plagiarism and would like to earn a chance to avoid failing the plagiarized assignment.

Plagiarism is a serious offense, but many students struggle to avoid it, whether because they simply don't understand how to properly cite sources, are in a panic about turning in an assignment, or have learned from others that plagiarism can be a way to deal with information overload. A remedial plagiarism workshop gives the library and Writing Center a chance to help students who really need the assistance, it gives the students opportunities to learn how to cite properly before being punished for making mistakes, and it gives faculty the ability to reduce plagiarism in their students' work without using valuable class-time.

How it Works

  1. The faculty member identifies that a student has plagiarized on an assignment that is worth less than 25% of his or her grade.
  2. The faculty member tells that student he or she has the opportunity to avoid failing the assignment by attending a library workshop and presenting proof of completion.
  3. The student signs up for the workshop at the link here. If there are any difficulties in the sign-up process please contact Mandi Goodsett.
  4. After the student has completed the workshop AND turned in all required materials, the faculty member will be emailed a certificate from the workshop instructors. We can also send the results of all assessment material to the faculty member.
  5. The student will still need to re-write the original plagiarized paper and turn it in to the faculty member in order to receive credit for it. We are happy to look at the paper and give feedback, but cannot assign a grade.

Learning Outcomes

  • After attending the workshop, students will be able to …
    • demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism in order to avoid accidentally plagiarizing.
    • articulate why acknowledgement of original thought is important in order to avoid purposefully plagiarizing.
    • give credit to the original ideas of others following the rules of APA or MLA style.
    • skillfully integrate information taken from outside sources into their writing.
    • approach citing sources and consulting citation resources with familiarity and understanding


How will certificates be awarded?
Once I have all of the required materials, the student will be emailed a certificate directly from the workshop instructors. The faculty member will be CC’ed on that email if the student entered the professor's name in his/her sign-up form. The faculty member or the student can also request that we send a certificate. We recommend only accepting a certificate sent directly from a workshop instructor.
Can students re-take the workshop?
Students can take the workshop as many times as they would like, but the faculty member will be informed when a student registers for the workshop that he/she has already taken it, and whether or not he/she got a certificate.
Is the certificate the same for online and in-person workshops?
Yes. The experience is meant to be as similar as possible.
Will the workshops only accommodate MLA or APA citation styles?
No, it will accommodate both; we will cater each workshop to the needs of whichever students are enrolled. However, we will only have workshop exercises that relate to MLA, APA, or Chicago/Turabian—not other citation styles. If a faculty member feels a need for a workshop addressing another style, please let us know.
Can faculty members see the workshop materials so they know what their students are doing?
Certainly! We highly encourage faculty to let us know if they would like to see the workshop materials. We can also enroll faculty in the online course for as long as they would like so they can see how it looks from the student perspective.
Can students who haven’t committed plagiarism be encouraged to attend these workshops?
Yes! All students who would like to attend and receive a certificate of completion are welcome. Offering extra credit to students who have not committed plagiarism as an incentive to attend is encouraged.

Please contact Mandi Goodsett or Mary McDonald with questions or concerns about the workshops.