What is Plagiarism?
The question of what really constitutes plagiarism is often raised in this
class and elsewhere. I would like to clarify what might be construed as such:
- Outright copying of another's work
(including 'cut & paste' jobs) with or without giving credit to the
source. This is the most serious form of plagiarism
and is always considered to be intentional. Examples are: Buying, borrowing,
stealing, or otherwise obtaining term papers, lab reports or other work via
the internet, from other students, or any other source. Cutting and pasting paragraphs from web sources
is the most common form of this type of plagiarism.
Note that it does not make much difference whether you actually reference your
source - if it is copied, it is a form of plagiarism!
My recommendation is: do not quote (with OR without quotation
marks) material in your term paper unless it is for purely aesthetic purposes
(i.e. Shakespeare, to make an interesting introduction)...always
attempt to put the information in your own words.
- Copying or using someone else's work (words, pictures, diagrams) without
acknowledging the source, even if paraphrased. For example, you may
change the wording of a paragraph you find on the web, but fail to give credit
to where you got the paragraph from. This is also a serious form of plagiarism
as it can be assumed that you have taken credit for the information for
- Copying parts of someone's work, even
if other portions are paraphrased. For instance: "To be or not to be, that
is what was asked" is still largely copied. If you want to describe a long
list of symptoms that you found on a web page for meningitis, try rephrasing
the symptoms by grouping them together differently, explaining the symptoms,
etc. Don't just copy the whole list or merely rearrange the order of words in
What is Academic Dishonesty?
Academic dishonesty extends beyond the issue of plagiarism and encompasses
all forms of cheating, falsification of data, and fabrication of data. This
- Cheating: Using any form of
unauthorized help during exams, quizzes, or other in-class or out-of-class
tests. This includes having anyone else write or re-write your lab reports or
- Falsification of data: Altering
any collected data (including numbers, descriptions, pictures, graphs, or
statistical outcomes) in ways that misrepresent the actual outcome. This
includes using photographs and diagrams depicting results that were not your own
(e.g. you cannot photocopy a picture from your lab book and claim it as
representing your results).
- Fabrication of data: Making up any
of the data that was to be collected, or claiming to have done parts of an
experiment that were never done.
How will Plagiarism/Academic dishonesty be dealt with?
Depending on the perceived severity of the offense (was it intentional or
inadvertent? How much of the course grade was affected? How much of an
assignment was plagiarized? Was this a repeat offense?) the instructor may:
- Mark down the assignment by one letter grade
- Give a grade of "0" for the assignment
- Give a grade of "E" for the course
- Refer the student to the campus judicial committee for academic
dishonesty. This will result in a hearing before the judicial committee and
may result in expulsion from the University.
How will instances of plagiarism be detected?
All students will be asked to submit electronic copies of their paper 1) to
Turnitin.com, a plagiarism-detection web site that will check your paper against
a database of other papers and web sources, and 2) to me via Moodle or email. You will
also be asked to submit printed copies of your research article sources. Other
electronic plagiarism detection tools may also be used at the
college's/department's/instructor's discretion, depending on availability.
Produced by Lycoming University, this game is a helpful tool to test your
understanding of what plagiarism is. Doing this is optional and strictly for
your own understanding.
Please log in to the Bio 203 Moodle page to acknowledge this policy.
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