Plagiarism a form of Academic Dishonesty Plagiarism



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Plagiarism

Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism, which is a form of Academic Dishonesty, is a serious issue on university campuses, including here at Nicholls. The penalties for plagiarism can be devastating to the student who is caught, ranging from the grade of “F” on an assignment, to a failing grade for the course, to expulsion from the university, depending upon the severity of the offense. Therefore, Ellender Memorial Library has created this tutorial, to help you recognize plagiarism. It will also address the penalties of plagiarizing, and avoiding unintentional plagiarism.

PART I

  • First, we would like to discuss what plagiarism is. Answering these six true/false questions should help you understand exactly what the word plagiarism means.

Questions 1-6: The Definition of Plagiarism

  • 1. Nicholls’ definition of plagiarism is found in The Code of Student Conduct, under the Academic Dishonesty section.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

Plagiarism is the 2nd item defined in the 2003 Code of Student Conduct. Briefly, it means “the presentation of the works, words, or ideas of others as one’s own” (Code, 19).

  • Plagiarism is the 2nd item defined in the 2003 Code of Student Conduct. Briefly, it means “the presentation of the works, words, or ideas of others as one’s own” (Code, 19).
  • TRUE

2. Turning in all or part of another student’s computer program as part of one’s own program is considered plagiarism.

  • 2. Turning in all or part of another student’s computer program as part of one’s own program is considered plagiarism.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

From the 2003 Code of Student Conduct: “submitting another person’s work as one’s own (including, but not limited to submitting a paper…” is considered plagiarism” (Code, 20).

  • From the 2003 Code of Student Conduct: “submitting another person’s work as one’s own (including, but not limited to submitting a paper…” is considered plagiarism” (Code, 20).
  • TRUE
  • 3. Sharing information with a group of students on an assignment, when the assignment calls for individual work by each student, is not considered plagiarism, as neither student has technically not done some of his/her own work.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct: “allowing another student to copy one’s own work…or any part of an assignment…” is considered plagiarism (Code, 20).

  • According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct: “allowing another student to copy one’s own work…or any part of an assignment…” is considered plagiarism (Code, 20).
  • FALSE
  • 4. According to the Nicholls’ definition of plagiarism, helping another student on an essay exam is NOT considered plagiarism.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

From the 2003 Code of Student Conduct: one form of cheating is “giving aid or receiving aid from another student during an exam” (Code, 19). However, there is a fine line between cheating and plagiarism in this case, and either can produce severe negative consequences, such as an “F” in the course.

  • From the 2003 Code of Student Conduct: one form of cheating is “giving aid or receiving aid from another student during an exam” (Code, 19). However, there is a fine line between cheating and plagiarism in this case, and either can produce severe negative consequences, such as an “F” in the course.
  • Technically,
  • TRUE
  • 5. Submitting a paper you had written for a previous course is considered plagiarism.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

Although “self-plagiarism” does exist in the academic setting, the 2003 Code of Student Conduct makes no specific mention of resubmitting one’s own work as being plagiarism. However, it is good practice to get the approval of an instructor before doing so, both as a show of honesty/courtesy and to make sure that the resubmitted work fits the assignment criteria.

  • Although “self-plagiarism” does exist in the academic setting, the 2003 Code of Student Conduct makes no specific mention of resubmitting one’s own work as being plagiarism. However, it is good practice to get the approval of an instructor before doing so, both as a show of honesty/courtesy and to make sure that the resubmitted work fits the assignment criteria.
  • FALSE
  • 6. Hiring someone to write a paper and then taking credit for it is considered plagiarism.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, “submitting a report purchased or retrieved from a term paper service” is considered plagiarism.

  • According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, “submitting a report purchased or retrieved from a term paper service” is considered plagiarism.
  • TRUE

Now that students have a better idea of what their professors and advisors mean when they use the word “plagiarism,” we would like to give them a sense of what the penalties for the offense are, whether the plagiarizing is intentional or unintentional (such as submitting work that is not properly documented, which is addressed in the Code on page 19).

  • Now that students have a better idea of what their professors and advisors mean when they use the word “plagiarism,” we would like to give them a sense of what the penalties for the offense are, whether the plagiarizing is intentional or unintentional (such as submitting work that is not properly documented, which is addressed in the Code on page 19).
  • Part II

Questions 7-9: Penalties for Plagiarism

  • 7. If a student is guilty of plagiarism, that student can be given a failing grade on the assignment, or a failing grade for the course.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, “in cases of academic dishonesty…the instructor may handle the matter by invoking a maximum sanction of immediate expulsion from the course with a failing grade…” (Code, 20).

  • According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, “in cases of academic dishonesty…the instructor may handle the matter by invoking a maximum sanction of immediate expulsion from the course with a failing grade…” (Code, 20).
  • TRUE
  • 8. If a student is guilty of plagiarism and is given a failing grade, either for the assignment or the class, that student cannot be subjected to further, more severe penalty.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, “if a more severe penalty…is warranted, the faculty member will file a formal charge with the Dean of the College…or Dean of Student Life…” (Code, 20).

  • According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, “if a more severe penalty…is warranted, the faculty member will file a formal charge with the Dean of the College…or Dean of Student Life…” (Code, 20).
  • FALSE
  • 9. Each professor can determine for him/herself what the penalty for each plagiarism incident should be, based on its severity and extenuating circumstances, and the professor’s decision is final.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, the instructor can determine both the severity of the offense and its penalty, but this decision is not final. In cases where the student does not agree to the offense, “if the student wishes to pursue the matter further, he/she may consult the department head” (Code, 20). In extreme cases, the Discipline Committee may become involved as a mediator .

  • According to the 2003 Code of Student Conduct, the instructor can determine both the severity of the offense and its penalty, but this decision is not final. In cases where the student does not agree to the offense, “if the student wishes to pursue the matter further, he/she may consult the department head” (Code, 20). In extreme cases, the Discipline Committee may become involved as a mediator .
  • FALSE

Because the issue of unintentional plagiarism is tied so closely to students’ failure to understand the rules of citation and documentation when they are writing research papers or using outside sources for their assignments, we have prepared the next group of questions to test their knowledge of the correct methods of documentation.

  • Because the issue of unintentional plagiarism is tied so closely to students’ failure to understand the rules of citation and documentation when they are writing research papers or using outside sources for their assignments, we have prepared the next group of questions to test their knowledge of the correct methods of documentation.
  • PART III

These next few questions are specifically geared to help students understand exactly what information they need to include when citing sources within a paper. They do not deal with citation styles for bibliographic entries, however, as Works Cited problems lend themselves more to being stylistic errors, and usually do not lead to unintentional plagiarism.

  • These next few questions are specifically geared to help students understand exactly what information they need to include when citing sources within a paper. They do not deal with citation styles for bibliographic entries, however, as Works Cited problems lend themselves more to being stylistic errors, and usually do not lead to unintentional plagiarism.

Questions 10-19: Plagiarism and In-Text Documentation

  • 10. Students must include the author’s name when they include verbatim information from a written source.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

TRUE

  • You should always document, and place within quotations, any verbatim information and unique wording you borrow from another writer or source. See sections 2.5 and 2.8 of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th edition), or check out this helpful link:
  • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_plagiar.html
  • 11. You do not need to cite facts, statistics, opinions, etc., if you are not using the author’s wording (i.e., if you are paraphrasing or summarizing).
  • TRUE
  • FALSE
  • FALSE
  • You should always “give appropriate acknowledgment when repeating or paraphrasing another’s wording.” See sections 2.5 and 2.8 of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th edition), or check out this helpful link:
  • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_plagiar.html
  • 12. Students must include the name of the source (book, journal, magazine, newspaper, etc.) in their in text documentation when they include verbatim information from a print (as opposed to online) source.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE
  • According to section 5.2 of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th edition), “a citation … contains only enough information to enable readers to find the sources in the works-cited list,” which usually means that author last name and page number will suffice. Likewise, the 5th edition of The APA Publication Manual states in section 3.39 that “when citing print sources [writers should] give the author, year, and page number in parentheses.” See this helpful Long Island University website for examples of text citation styles in the APA and MLA formats (among others):
  • http://www.liunet.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/citation.htm
  • FALSE
  • 13. Students must include the author’s credentials when they include verbatim information from a print (as opposed to online) source.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

As in the previous question, see section 5.2 of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th edition). Likewise, the 5th edition of The APA Publication Manual states in section 3.39 that “when citing print sources [writers should] give the author, year, and page number in parentheses.” However, keep in mind that it may strengthen your argument if you point out that your information comes from experts in the field; therefore, although it is not necessary to give a source’s credentials, it may be helpful if you do so.

  • As in the previous question, see section 5.2 of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th edition). Likewise, the 5th edition of The APA Publication Manual states in section 3.39 that “when citing print sources [writers should] give the author, year, and page number in parentheses.” However, keep in mind that it may strengthen your argument if you point out that your information comes from experts in the field; therefore, although it is not necessary to give a source’s credentials, it may be helpful if you do so.
  • FALSE
  • 14. If using it in a paper, a student must document factual information that can be corroborated by several different general reference sources.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

Whether you said true or false, you are technically correct. Information that can be found in several general reference sources may come under the heading of “common knowledge,” which does not need to be documented. There is no set in stone test for what constitutes common knowledge, although various entities have published guidelines based on their interpretations of what common knowledge is. For example, see the working definition of common knowledge at

  • Whether you said true or false, you are technically correct. Information that can be found in several general reference sources may come under the heading of “common knowledge,” which does not need to be documented. There is no set in stone test for what constitutes common knowledge, although various entities have published guidelines based on their interpretations of what common knowledge is. For example, see the working definition of common knowledge at
  • http://library.csusm.edu/plagiarism/howtoavoid/how_avoid_common.htm

Perhaps the best advice is given by The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, which states that “if you have any doubt about whether or not you are committing plagiarism, cite your source or sources” (6th edition, section 2.6). It would also be good practice to simply ask the instructor whether or not such information needs to be documented.

  • Perhaps the best advice is given by The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, which states that “if you have any doubt about whether or not you are committing plagiarism, cite your source or sources” (6th edition, section 2.6). It would also be good practice to simply ask the instructor whether or not such information needs to be documented.
  • 15. If using it in a paper, a student must document a summary of a chapter of a textbook.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

It is highly unlikely that the entire contents of a textbook chapter would include nothing but information that is “common knowledge.” Therefore, a summary of that chapter must be documented. For helpful hints on summarizing textbook chapters, see #5 of The Research and Reading Notes section of Jo Ray McCuen’s Readings for Writers website:

  • It is highly unlikely that the entire contents of a textbook chapter would include nothing but information that is “common knowledge.” Therefore, a summary of that chapter must be documented. For helpful hints on summarizing textbook chapters, see #5 of The Research and Reading Notes section of Jo Ray McCuen’s Readings for Writers website:
  • http://english.heinle.com/mccuen/student/note.html
  • TRUE
  • 16. Because the World Wide Web is not an official publication, a student does not have to document information which was taken from a web site.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

First off, you should know that sites on the Internet, like print materials, may be copyrighted. Therefore, you should read the web page carefully to see if its material is protected by copyright. As The MLA Manual points out, most sites allow for “fair use,” which means that small bits of information can be used without permission (6th edition, section 2.7.3). However, the information taken from a web page should be treated like all other information and should be documented. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that authority and reliability are your responsibility when it comes to citing web sites.

  • First off, you should know that sites on the Internet, like print materials, may be copyrighted. Therefore, you should read the web page carefully to see if its material is protected by copyright. As The MLA Manual points out, most sites allow for “fair use,” which means that small bits of information can be used without permission (6th edition, section 2.7.3). However, the information taken from a web page should be treated like all other information and should be documented. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that authority and reliability are your responsibility when it comes to citing web sites.
  • FALSE

Therefore,

  • you should evaluate each site carefully before deciding to use any information from it (see The MLA Manual, 6th edition, section 1.4.8). For tips on citing Internet sources using the APA format, see The APA Publication Manual, 5th edition, section 4.16.
  • 17. If using it in a paper, a student must document the following:
  • Columbus sailed to America in 1492.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

FALSE

  • This would be considered common knowledge, as all sources, both general and historical, agree on its truth.
  • 18. If using it in a paper, a student must document the following:
  • George Bush won the 2000 Presidential Election.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

FALSE

  • This would also be considered common knowledge, as all sources, both general and historical, agree on its truth.
  • 19. If using it in a paper, a student must document the following:
  • There were approximately 4,882,000 web sites in 1999.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

TRUE

  • This is not common knowledge. For starters, it fits the following definition of information that must be documented: the information is unusual, technical, and specific to a profession or discipline,

Part IV

  • The next set of questions will further test students’ understanding of documentation styles, but are more generic in nature than the last set of questions. This group of questions tests students’ knowledge of the actual styles themselves, both for the humanities and the sciences, as we feel that a complete understanding of documentation is necessary in avoiding unintentional plagiarism.

Questions 20-23: Documentation Styles

  • 20. All of the following are valid citation styles: MLA, Arabian, Chicago, ALA, Scientific.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

FALSE

  • While MLA and Chicago (Turabian) are indeed valid citation styles, Arabian, ALA, and Scientific are not. While some may argue that it is trivial to know the names of citation styles, we disagree. If you do not know the name of the specific style that you need to use, then you will be unable to ask the proper questions, and you will not know which sources you should consult for tricky citations. Typically, MLA is used in the humanities, although Chicago (Turabian) is sometimes used. For the sciences and social sciences, most professors prefer APA. Again, the best advice is to ask the instructor or editor which he/she prefers.
  • 21. For papers in the humanities (English, History, Political Science), writers should use the APA citation style.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

FALSE

  • To reiterate, MLA is used in the humanities, although Chicago (Turabian) is sometimes used. For the sciences and social sciences, most professors prefer APA.
  • 22. For papers in the sciences, writers can use the APA citation style.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

TRUE

  • 23. When a student is paraphrasing a passage, he/she should keep the same meaning and tone expressed by the original author.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

TRUE

  • It is considered unethical to manipulate a source’s intended meaning. In extreme cases, it could be considered “falsification,” which is referenced in the 2003 Code of Student Conduct (Code, 19). To reiterate, changing what a source says by omitting words or adding words is a falsification of findings.

Part V

  • This final group of questions is designed to help students learn a few techniques whereby they will avoid unintentional plagiarism. These questions refer to specific methods of note-taking that will ease the tension of students’ having to determine when ideas they use in papers need to be documented, so as to avoid unwittingly plagiarizing a source.
  • Questions 24-26: Avoiding Plagiarism
  • 24. Cutting and pasting information from a web page directly into a paper is a helpful strategy if a student wishes to avoid plagiarism.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

FALSE

  • In fact, cutting and pasting from any source will only confuse you later when you proofread and attempt to determine which ideas were yours, and which ideas came from the internet source.
  • 25. Taking meticulous notes to indicate quotes, paraphrased information, and original ideas is a helpful strategy if a student wishes to avoid plagiarism.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

TRUE

  • The best way to avoid unintentional plagiarism is to know exactly where your ideas came from. There are several ways you can take notes that will allow you to easily differentiate your ideas from those you found in sources. Some of the best hints can be found at Purdue’s Department of English website:
  • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_plagiar.html
  • 26. Multimedia items such as TV news, radio programs, works of art, graphs, charts, images, and photos are considered information and must be documented.
  • TRUE
  • FALSE

TRUE

  • In fact, the 6th edition of The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research papers devotes an entire section (section 5.8) to the correct methods of documenting multimedia sources. The APA Manual also deals with these types of media in section 4.16, subsection H.

THANKS FOR TAKING THIS TUTORIAL

  • We hope that these 26 questions have helped you to better understand what plagiarism is, how it occurs, how to avoid it, and what can happen to you when you fail to avoid it. Keep in mind that you also must be aware of copyright issues when using another individual’s information in your research, publication, etc. Both the MLA and APA manuals offer specific information on copyright, so contact the library if you have any doubts.


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