college, students are expected to write, write, and write some more! Instructors differ in exactly what they
expect in a paper, but one rule holds true across the board: Never plagiarize! At first glance, this appears to be a
straightforward rule; however, students are often confused on exactly what
qualifies as plagiarism. Plagiarism is
presenting someone else's work as one's own.
Instructors expect students to develop original ideas while
incorporating work that has already been completed by other researchers and
authors. This is where students often
stumble, and place themselves in danger of plagiarism.
addresses plagiarism in the Academic Honesty policy. Students who are found in violation of this
policy are subject to consequences such as verbal and/or written warnings,
lowering of assignment and/or course grade, or, in extreme cases, suspension
from the University. When students are
accused of plagiarism, they are given the right to appeal in the following
manner: 1.) informally with the
instructor; 2.) formally with the
department; and 3.) formally with the Provost.
top of academic consequences, there are also legal ramifications when
individuals are accused of plagiarism.
In the United States, there are laws protecting the authors of
copyrighted materials. Some instances of
plagiarism constitute copyright infringement.
According to Plagiarism.org, cases of plagiarism that reach a court of
law are typically misdemeanors with the possibility of fines or jail time.
avoid being placed in this uncomfortable position, students have an obligation
to learn the skills necessary to avoid plagiarism. First and foremost, students must understand
how to cite properly using formatting styles such as MLA, APA, or Chicago. An improper citation, or lack thereof, could
easily lead to an accusation of plagiarism.
Put quotations around any sentence that is word-for-word from a source. An excellent resource for learning and using
the different styles is the Purdue Online Writing
students should understand how to paraphrase correctly. Paraphrasing is
summarizing or rephrasing an idea initially written by someone else. Students should change not only the words,
but also the sentence structure to avoid plagiarism. Once paraphrased, the content of the writing
should still match the source, but will be expressed in your own words. Paraphrased information should not be used to
just reiterate someone else’s ideas, but to support your own ideas in the
paper. Remember that paraphrasing still
requires a citation!
you have mastered these skills, academic writing will come more naturally. If you are ever in doubt, make sure to use a
citation. Your instructors are an
excellent resource for questions about writing format and style. For more information on plagiarism, please see
the resources below:
FHSU Academic Honesty
Purdue Online Writing
Harvard Guide to Using