teaching with writing
Definition of Scholastic Dishonesty
University of Minnesota's Student
Conduct Code classifies scholastic dishonesty as a disciplinary
offense actionable by the University. Scholastic Dishonesty
is defined as
of false records of academic achievement; cheating on assignments
or examinations; plagiarizing; altering, forging, or misusing
a University academic record; taking, acquiring, or using
test materials without faculty permission; acting alone
or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to
obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional
of Plagiarism from Non-University Sources
following are definitions and illustrations of plagiarism
from selected handbooks available to accompany writing courses
and writing-intensive courses. Students should ask instructors
to recommend handbooks appropriate to specific disciplines;
some professional organizations (e.g., IEEE in engineering and
the Associated Press) have their own style guides with more
definitions and illustrations.
MLA Handbook defines plagiarism as the use of another person's
ideas or expressions in your writing without giving proper
credit to the source. The word comes from the Latin word plagiarius
(“kidnapper”), and Alexander Lindey defines it as “the
false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking
the product of another person's mind, and presenting it as
one's own” (Plagiarism and Originality [New York: Harper,
1952] 2). “In
short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have
written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed
from someone else.” This can include paraphrasing, copying
someone else's writing word for word, or using ideas that aren't
your own without proper citation. Plagiarism is often unintentional,
and bad research habits can form early in elementary school.
Unfortunately, these bad habits can continue throughout high
school and college and may result in severe consequences, from
failure in a course to expulsion. To avoid these consequences,
always cite your sources if you are unsure if you are plagiarizing
(Gibaldi and Achtert 21-25).
(Gibaldi, Joseph, and Walter S. Achtert. MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 3rd ed. New York:
The Modern Language Association of America, 1988. 21-25.)
APA Manual gives the following principle for avoiding plagiarism:
marks should be used to indicate the exact words of another.
Summarizing a passage or rearranging the order of a sentence
and changing some of the words is paraphrasing. Each time
a source is paraphrased, a credit for the source needs to
be included in the text. The
key element of this principle is that an author does not
present the work of another as if it were his or her own
work. This can extend to ideas as well as written words.
If an author models a study after one done by someone else,
the originating author should be given credit. If the rationale
for a study was suggested in the Discussion section of someone
else's article, that person should be given credit. Given
the free exchange of ideas, which is very important to the
health of psychology, an author may not know where an idea
for a study originated. If the author does know, however,
the author should acknowledge the source; this includes personal
communications. (Publication Manual 292-95)
(Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association. Washington DC: American Psychological Association,
St. Martin's Handbook
to the St. Martin's Handbook's Annotated Instructor's Edition, "Plagiarism
is the use of someone else's words as your own without crediting
the original writer for those words" (566). This
Handbook also gives good suggestions about when to credit someone
else's ideas and when not to:
not requiring credit
other people like you know the material you are including
(e.g., who is President of the U.S., what “capital punishment” means,
etc.) you do not need to include a citation. If, on the
other hand, you are giving specific data about a President's
policies and their impact, or citing the number of people
executed in a particular state over a set time period,
you should include a citation to document the source
where you found this specific information.
available in a wide variety of sources
that is commonly available in encyclopedias, almanacs, and
textbooks does not need a citation. For example, if you wrote
that John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 23, 1963,
in Texas, you would not need to cite a source. If you went
on to discuss a theory about a conspiracy behind the assassination,
you would then need to cite your source.
own findings from field research.
or results from your own research can be credited to yourself.
credit the source when you directly quote another person.
If you are paraphrasing but using a quote in the middle
of a sentence, be sure to set the quote off with quotation
that are arguable or facts that are not widely known
other people like you would not know the information,
include a citation. In addition, include a citation
if you use material that may not be true (e.g., an
author asserts that the CIA conspired to kill John
opinions, and claims of others
the ideas and opinions of others. Even if you summarize
someone else's opinion in your own words, the idea
does not belong to you and needs to be cited.
charts, tables, and graphs from any source
a citation for all information included in graphs
and other statistical material.
or help provided by friends, instructors, or others
who assists in the development of your ideas
or research deserves credit. Instructors and
friends can be valuable sources in your research.
Don't forget to acknowledge their contribution.
(Lunsford, Andrea, and Robert Connors. The St. Martin's Handbook. New York: St. Martin's Press.