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The student who deliberately attempts to pass off as his own the writing of someone else is guilty of plagiarism. This offense may involve either submission of a paper written by someone else or direct copying, without quotation marks and appropriate acknowledgement, from a printed source.

Minimum Penalty

The minimum penalty for demonstrable plagiarism is a grade of F on the paper. Normally the penalty will include also a grade of F for the course and a report of the offense to the Dean of Students, who may initiate action leading to suspension or dismissal from the college.

Excessive Collaboration

Excessive Collaboration. Students, like most writers, may be helped to write more effectively by discussing with someone else their ideas and plans for papers, or even by reading a paper (or a section of a paper) to a friend and then making revisions on the basis of his response. Normally such collaboration is unobjectionable. Students should not, however, replace their own ideas and plans with those supplied by someone else or ask someone to proofread their papers for errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, diction or sentence structure. These practices, which constitute excessive collaboration, are objectionable because, by preventing the instructor from recognizing the real ability and progress of his students, they inhibit effective teaching and learning.

Insufficient Documentation

Insufficient Documentation. Honesty and courtesy require that the writer acknowledge his debt for information and opinions which he has drawn from others. Documentation provides both an acknowledgement of this debt and a kind of support for the ideas expressed in a paper. Appropriate documentation may range from the mention of a name or title to the extensive parenthetical citations and works cited list required in the fully documented paper. All summarized, paraphrased and quoted material must be documented in the paper.

Insufficient or inaccurate documentation constitutes a serious weakness in a paper and normally results in a lowered grade. If the fault is serious enough, the grade on the paper may be F.

Inadequate Paraphrase

Inadequate Paraphrase. In paraphrasing, the student should be careful to change the words and sentence structure of the original while retaining the sense. Quotations of more than two or three consecutive words should be enclosed in quotation marks. Paraphrasing is a skill which must be learned. Usually inadequate paraphrase represents a lack of knowledge and skill on the part of the student rather than a deliberate attempt to deceive.

Inadequate paraphrase, provided it does not involve also insufficient documentation, should be treated like any other deficiency in writing. If the fault is serious enough, the grade on the paper may be F, or the student may be required to rewrite the paper. Inadequate paraphrase without documentation usually constitutes plagiarism.

NOTE: Also, go to the Student Handbook and look under “Academic and Classroom Offenses” for college policy.

For an explanation of how to avoid plagiarism, see 44 in The Little, Brown Handbook.

REV: Fall 2012

Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. According to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, plagiarism is to "steal and pass off as one's own (the ideas or words of another); to present as one's own an idea or product derived from an existing source." Also, seeThe Little, Brown Handbook, Chapter 44.

Any student who plagiarizes will receive a zero on the paper and may receive a grade of Fin the course. (See The Walters State Catalog/Student Handbook.)