Guidelines to follow to avoid plagiarism include paraphrasing, including proper references, including proper citations and adequately acknowledging secondary sources. Consequences for supplying plagiarized materials are serious and include expulsion from a class or institution, destruction of one's reputation, and legal issues if the plagiarized party files a lawsuit.
Services such as iThenticate.com provide writers the ability to ensure they are not handing in work that contains plagiarized content. Once a paper is submitted, iThenticate.com scans more than 35 million documents to detect duplicated or improperly cited and referenced published works. This site is useful in fields such as science and research, technical and medical writing, and book and media publishing.