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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.
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.
Brief video from Bainbridge College that reviews plagiarism, quoting sources, paraphrasing, and citing.
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 Academic Integrity, which states:
"When a faculty member encounters a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy they are expected to discuss the situation with the student and provide education regarding existing policies, procedures, and academic expectations. When there is evidence of academic dishonesty, a student may be assigned a grade of “F” for the assignment and/or course. These consequences should be included in the class syllabus. The ‘MTS’ system provides faculty with the option of dismissing a student for ethical reasons. This option will assign a grade of “F” and prevent the student from withdrawing from the course without the permission of the faculty member."
Furthermore, SUNY Canton defines academic dishonesty as:
1. Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own words, ideas, or products of another without providing a
standard form of documentation, such as footnotes, endnotes, or bibliographic
2. Fabricating facts, statistics, or other forms of evidence in papers, laboratory experiments, or
3. Presenting someone else's paper, computer work, or other material as one's own work.
4. Writing, or attempting to write, an examination, paper, computer work, or other material for
another student; allowing someone else to take one's examination.
5. Buying and selling of examinations: Possession of examinations or answers to examinations
without permission of the instructor.
6. Using "cheat sheets," looking onto another's paper, or talking to someone other than the
instructor or proctor during an examination, without the instructor's permission.
7. Failing to follow the rules of conduct for taking an examination or assignment.
8. Presenting work for which credit has been received or will be received in another course without
the consent of the instructor(s).
9. Forging of official College documents, which includes, but is not limited to, grade sheets,
change of grade forms, and transcripts.
10. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: If you allow another individual to cheat, you too are guilty of
academic dishonesty. Students facilitate academic dishonesty when they allow another
student to copy an assignment that was given as individual work, when they allow another to
copy exam answers, when they take exams or complete assignments for another student, or
when they provide their completed work to another in order for that student to submit the
work as his/her own.
Need some help ensuring your paper is plagiarism free? Consult these sources or talk to your teacher or librarian.
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.