Many writing assignments and projects will need to be completed during a student's college career. Plagiarism involves both intentional and unintentional copying of someone else's ideas and written work. Because plagiarism is a serious offense that could have serious academic repercussions, it's important to avoid it. Even unintentional plagiarism can carry a stiff penalty. Understanding plagiarism and its consequences is the first step to avoiding this mistake. You can also avoid plagiarism by citing the sources you use in your writing to give proper credit to the original author or authors. Any time you use the research, ideas, or words of someone else in your own writing, you must cite this information with in-text citations and a complete list of sources at the end of the document. How you cite sources depends on the academic style of your document, so you must know the style requirements as you compile your citations.