Statement on Plagiarism

Academic honesty and good scholarship are at the core of a university education and will serve you well throughout your career. Plagiarism is a form of cheating, defeats the purpose of your studies and devalues your degree. As such, it is a very serious academic offense that may result in a failing grade for the course and possibly suspension from the university. Plagiarism happens when you use the ideas or words of others and present them as your own without citing the original sources or when you submit another person’s work as your own.

When you use quotations, the source must be cited. The form and style of citation that is acceptable varies according to the class, and you should consult your professor if you have any questions. Direct quotations always have quotation marks. If the quotation is longer than four typed lines it should be indented and single spaced. Use quotations sparingly and always cite the source. When you take notes on readings always use quotation marks when you copy directly from the source. This will help prevent an inadvertent case of plagiarism when you are referring to your notes.

In writing assignments you will be discussing works, ideas and issues in your own words to demonstrate your understanding. You should write in such a way that gives authors credit for their ideas. Therefore, you should cite when you summarize or paraphrase an author’s work. Similarly, when using specific facts or figures you should always cite your sources, including books, articles, statistics, book reviews, government documents, oral presentations, unpublished written works and internet sources. Consult with your professor on acceptable citation formats.  If your professor allows internet sources, you must cite the web address, author and date of the source. Since the internet makes it easier to plagiarize (as well as to check-up on suspected plagiarism), professors may require students to submit a printed copy of the internet page(s) you use or the notes you took for research. In addition, professors may ask for the call numbers of books or articles you have included in your bibliography. You therefore should hold onto all research material and notes until your graded paper is returned to you.

Where a professor decides to follow academic disciplinary actions, including but not limited to grade reduction in the course, he/she is obliged to report the action taken in writing to the student, to the department head and to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President will notify the student as to what action has been taken and will maintain a file for each student disciplined. If a student wishes to appeal or dispute disciplinary action, he/she can do so through the university’s academic grievance structure. Should the student be successful, all evidence of disciplinary action will be expunged. For more information regarding University policy on plagiarism see UNI’s catalog.