Plagiarism involves the use of someone else's words as if they were your own - accidentally or intentionally. HCC considers plagiarism to be a form of scholastic dishonesty, and "possible punishments for academic dishonesty may include a grade of '0' or 'F' on the particular assignment, failure in the course, and/or recommendation for probation or dismissal from the College System."
To avoid plagiarism you must document direct quotations, paraphrases (when you rephrase someone else's writing), and original ideas that are not your own. This is called "citing" your sources. In order to cite your sources properly, you'll need to know which citation style your instructor requires (for example: ALA, MLA, or Chicago).
The two types of citations that you'll deal with most often will be in-text and bibliographic citations. In-text citations are brief, and occur within the text of your research paper. Bibliographic citations offer more details, and come in the form of a list at the end of your paper (this would be your bibliography, "works cited," or "references" page).
For examples showing how to prepare in-text and bibliographic citations for many types of sources in several different styles, visit this website.
For more explanation and examples, visit OWL, Purdue University's "Online Writing Lab" or take a look at this great tutorial created by Acadia University.
Are you required to create an annotated bibliography? Have a look at these tips, also from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.
Need help learning how to format an MLA style paper? This video from American River College Library may help-