Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Law Library

Library Guide to Plagiarism


This guide is intended to inform law students about what plagiarism is and how to avoid committing plagiarism.  A student's academic integrity is contingent on presenting their own work in the classroom.   A violation of the honor code can jeopardize graduation and possibly admittance to the bar.  Stealing someone else's ideas or course work is an offense which endangers the integrity of the legal profession. 

The Honor Code of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law defines plagiarism as the following:

"Plagiarism is representing the words or ideas of another as one's own. Quoting or paraphrasing another's writing without acknowledging the author's identity is a form of plagiarism. Ignorance, as to the meaning of plagiarism, is not a defense."  
Honor Code 3 (c)

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Use the author or speaker's name within the writing to show ownership.  For example, write "according to Smith..." and then include a citation in a footnote or endnote to where in Smith's work you found the idea, statement or fact.
  • When researching, put quotes around phrases you write in your research log or use a capital "Q" to denote a direct quotation.  Again, write the citation for where you found the quote.  Mark your own ideas by some method such as using your initials to differentiate your ideas from those of others.  Some people use different ink colors or highlighters to differentiate between sources.
  • If you use someone else's idea, you need to credit that person for that idea.  For example, if you take a position in a paper based on a particular author's idea, you must give that author recognition for the idea.  It was not your idea.
  • Do not cite sources you didn't use.
  • When conducting online research, write down the URL, and the date and time you retrieved the information online.  You will need this information to properly cite your source.
  • Understand and process the information you gathered through research so you can intelligently and honestly draft your memo, paper, or article in your own words.

ASU Sources

College of Law Honor Code

ASU Academic Integrity Resource Guide
This online guide includes information on plagiarism.  There are links to podcasts about plagiarism created by librarians of the ASU library system.  Users can access academic policies of ASU and individual colleges.  Numerous articles, books, DVDs and videos are cited.


Anderson, Judy. Plagiarism, Copyright Violation, and Other Thefts of Intellectual Property: An Annotated Bibliography with a  Lengthy Introduction
Law Reference,  Z551 .A68 1998  

Mawdsley, Ralph D. Academic Misconduct: Cheating and Plagiarism
Law Treatises, LB3609 .M39 1994  

Posner, Richard A. The Little Book of Plagiarism
Law Treatises, K1485 .P67 2007

Tiersma, Peter M. and Solan, Lawrence M. The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law.
Law Reference, K213 .O94 2012

Volokh, Eugene. Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers and Getting on Law Review
Law Study Skills Collection,  KF250 .V65 2005

CALI Lessons

Plagiarism - Keeping out of Trouble
This online lesson explains what plagiarism is, how to recognize it and how to avoid it.  An essential lesson for all law students.

Citation Form for Briefs and Legal Memoranda
This lesson teaches students how to properly cite authorities in briefs and memoranda.

updated 8/14


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