According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, plagiarism is defined as “stealing and passing off the ideas or words of another as one’s own” or “committing literary theft” (Plagiarize, 2018). Plagiarism is not solely restricted to written documents. “Songs, shows, images, interviews, artworks, and ideas” are also subjected to plagiarism (Stolley, 2013). Such an act is considered to be a form of academic misconduct and a “serious breach of ethics” (Lannon & Gurak, 2017). Academic integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral academia principles. Plagiarism violates basic academic integrity principles that compose the foundation of success and scholarship (Geyer, 2017). When writers decide to plagiarism a document, they harm themselves, classmates or colleagues, the university or business, and the original author or creator.Due to technological advances, plagiarism is at an all-time high. According to a 2005 Rutgers study, over a third of the surveyed students admitted to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences” from either the Internet or a written source without the proper citations (Academic Integrity, 2017). Over fourteen percent stated that they either directly copied phrases without proper citation or “turned in work done by others” (Academic Integrity, 2017). It is critical to ensure that students and employees are adequately taught how to avoid plagiarism. Online writing labs, such as OWL – Purdue, can become great resources that students can use for additional information. Plagiarism defeats the purpose of improving writing skills and learning how to effectively express your own ideas. In addition, severe penalties and life-long consequences are possible. Students may face expulsion while permanently scarring their academic record. Employees risk getting fired and may face difficulties acquiring a similar job. Plagiarism will destroy a writer’s reputation and destroys the mutual respect of teachers and colleagues (Consequences of Plagiarism, 2017). Writers could even be forced to pay restitution as well as face prison sentences for serious offenses (Consequences of Plagiarism, 2017).Writers can take several precautions to avoid plagiarism. When gathering information, writers should document anything, including an idea, which originates from an outside source (Avoiding Plagiarism, 2017). While drafting and revising the documents, it is critical to ensure adequate credit is given when necessary by using citations or references. Writers can use a citation generator such as Citation Machine if they need help creating citations or reviewing citation guidelines. Citation and references should include the author and the date the article was published (Avoiding Plagiarism, 2017). Writers should use quotation marks plus citation when using direct quotes to avoid misquoting (Avoiding Plagiarism, 2017). Furthermore, writers should not copy verbatim when attempting to paraphrase information (Avoiding Plagiarism, 2017).Plagiarism is a serious academic offense with severe punishments and life-long consequences. Due to the growing number of students who plagiarize, websites such as TurnItIn and Grammarly help to prevent plagiarism from going unnoticed. Students and employees can proactively use these websites to ensure their document’s originality prior to final submission. Writers must continually practice their citation skills in order to develop the necessary habits. Educational websites, such as Northwestern and Harvard, provide advice and tips to avoid plagiarism for writers who may need extra guidance. It is always a good rule to create a citation when you may be unsure if citations are required.