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The Mississippi State University Honor Code

"As a Mississippi State University student, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do."

The MSU Honor Code is a critical component in the scholarly community at Mississippi State, and is necessary to build an honest and ethical learning environment.

The Student Honor Code Office provides assistance pertaining to academic integrity cases and resources for students who want to do honest work.

Citation Tools in the Online Catalog and Library Databases

Many of the online resources on the library website will provide computer-generated citations in different styles for you to use in a works cited page or bibliography. WARNING: be sure to double-check these citations for errors and correct as needed before turning your paper in!

In the MSU Online Catalog:

  • Look for the "Cite This" button to the right of any catalog record; a separate window will open.

In EBSCOhost databases:

  • Look for the gold paper icon on the right of the article record (it says "Cite" when you mouse over it).



Citation Assistance and Avoiding Plagiarism

The most common citation styles are APA, MLA and Chicago. MSU has print and online citation guides to help you cite sources in your papers and build your bibliographies, or use our Ask-a-Librarian service for citation assistance.

How Can I Avoid Plagiarism Using Citations?

The MSU Student Honor Code Operational Procedures defines "Plagiarism" as "The appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit... 1) Intentionally, knowingly, or carelessly presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper credit); 2) Failing to credit sources used in a work product in an attempt to pass off the work as one's own; 3) Attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, including papers obtained in whole or in part from individuals or other sources; 4) The internet, data bases and other electronic resources must be cited if they are utilized in any way as resource material in an academic exercise." (

Plagiarism often occurs when a student fails to cite a source or fails to cite it correctly. A good rule of thumb is to cite:

  1. Direct quotes;
  2. Paraphrased passages;
  3. and Anything not considered common knowledge, including borrowed facts. Examples:
    • Common knowledge: "The sky is blue." This does not need a citation.
    • Borrowed fact: "Why is the sky blue?"
      • "A clear cloudless day-time sky is blue because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than they scatter red light" (Gibbs).
      • Reference: Gibbs, Phillip. "Why Is the Sky Blue?" The Original Usenet Physics FAQ. University of California Riverside. May 1997, 

"28 Pages Later" (4:58)

"After a weekend of wasting time, two students learn the hard way, that Plagiarism will ultimately come back to haunt you."