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Library Research E-Textbook - Student Version: Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

Recognizing Plagiarism

What About Copyright?

Copyright and copyright infringement can be confusing.  Check out these websites and get informed! 

Creative Commons

Creative Commons License

This page is adapted from the LibGuide Transitioning to College by SUNY Canton (adapted from Kent State University) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is stealing someone's words or ideas and claiming them as your own. It is obvious that turning in a paper written by someone else and saying it is your work is plagiarism, but plagiarism can also be very subtle.  For example, did you know that if you write a paper for your English class and then hand in the same paper for your Psychology class this is considered plagiarism? Yes, you can self-plagiarise. 

The best way to avoid being guilty of plagiarism is to learn as much as you can about what is considered plagiarism and the precautions you can take to prevent yourself from plagiarising. 

If you think professors are too busy to check your work this closely, think again! Many colleges and universities have software such as Turn It In that professors can use to detect plagiarism.  Professors also turn to the Internet or other free resources such as Plagiarism Checker

Learn more about plagiarism and academic honesty by exploring these websites.

Plagiarism Policies

Plagiarism is a serious offense that colleges and universities will not tolerate. Many cases of plagiarism are unintentional.  Be sure you understand what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it in your papers and projects. 

Colleges and universities have a statement about academic integrity in their student code of conduct or policies.  Students found guilty of plagiarism risk expulsion.  At SUNY Canton, we abide by the policy for DEVIANT ACADEMIC CONDUCT, which states:

"The instructor may impose a penalty upon a student evidencing prohibited academic behavior. 
When there is evidence of plagiarism, a student may be assigned a grade of “F” for the 
assignment and/or course. These consequences should be included in a class syllabus. 
Similarly, a student may be dismissed from a course with a grade of “F” as a consequence of 
intentional disruption, obstruction, or comparable class misconduct. These consequences should 
be included in the class syllabus. After written notification of the charge by the instructor, 
students may initiate the academic student grievance procedure if they believe they have proof 
that the charge is unwarranted" (SUNY Canton Policies & Procedures Manual, March 2014, 106).

Furthermore, SUNY Canton defines academic dishonesty as:

            "Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:

a. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty.
b. Furnishing false information to any College official, faculty member, employee,
or office.
c. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College or official document, record, or 
instrument of identification (e.g., driver’s licenses and passports).
d. Tampering with the election of any college-recognized student organization." (SUNY Canton Policies & Procedures Manual, March 2014, 222-223).

Plagiarism: How to Avoid It

Brief video from Bainbridge College that reviews plagiarism, quoting sources, paraphrasing, and citing.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Need some help ensuring your paper is plagiarism free?  Consult these sources or talk to your teacher or librarian.

Learn to Cite Right

College professors will expect you to include a list of the sources you used and/or consulted to write your paper or complete your project.  There are many citation styles, but the two most common are:

Depending on the citation style used, the list of sources may be referred to as a works cited page (APA), references (APA), or bibliography. 

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers easy to access guides to help you create your citations.