Simply put, plagiarism is the act of using someone else's ideas or words as your own.
As a college student, you are expected to contribute to academic discourse, and act ethically. NSCC has a Plagiarism Policy which is part of the Student Code of Conduct found in the Student Handbook. You could fail your assignment, or your class if you are caught plagiarizing.
Whether you plagiarized intentionally or not, it is your responsibility to understand what constitutes plagiarism. Take a look at some of the resources here to help you understand what plagiarism is, and how to avoid it.
Plagiarism: A Student's Guide to Recognizing it and Avoiding it by Dr. C. Barnbaum at Valdosta State University gives a great overview of the types of plagiarism and how to avoid them.
Plagiarism Prevention for Students from California State University.
Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism from Duke University.
“Learning is a combination of absorbing information from experts and developing our own reasoned thoughts on a subject. When students demonstrate their knowledge on a subject, often in the form of written papers, they are expected to show, by giving credit, how these experts have informed their understanding and interpretation. When proper credit for an idea or specific language is not given, the student has plagiarized.”
From: Plagiarism Prevention for Students
Try some of these online quizzes to test your knowledge of plagiarism:
You Quote It, You Note It from Acadia University.
Carnival of Plagiarism from Drexel University.
Is It Plagiarism from the University of Maine at Farmington.
The NSCC Library Citing Your Sources page offers some assistance on how to properly cite sources.