The Dean Blog

April 22, 2009

Academic Integrity

Filed under: Student advice — LBA @ 3:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

You probably know that plagiarism is unacceptable.  But, are you aware that it can be grounds for failing a course, or even removal from the university?  Did you know that, while giving someone else your material or falsifying sources may not be “plagiarism,” they are violations of academic honesty and can be punished in the same way as plagiarizing?  And, even out of the college setting, people lose jobs and standing in their occupational communities for behaviors that involve some sort of dishonest action in writing or source utilization.  If you are not sure what counts as plagiarism, here are some basic rules:

  1. You have to give sources (in some formal bibliographic style as required by the course/instructor) for ALL non-commonly known information. Does that mean you’ll have to cite sources frequently? Probably, but it is better to be safe.
  2. If you use another person’s words, you MUST indicate that it is a direct quote.  You cannot simply cite the source and use his/her words. If you use more than 2 (significant) words in a row from the source, it is a quote. Even if you attribute the idea and have the source on your bibliography, if you don’t indicate that it is a direct quote, this is still a violation.
  3. If you are paraphrasing, the words/sentence structure must be yours completely and you still MUST cite the source.  People deserve to be credited for their ideas.
  4. If you put sources on your bibliography that you have not read (because the sources you read had them on their bibliography), that is also a form of academic dishonesty.  If you must use secondary information, it must be clear that you read it in another source: i.e. “According to Bateson, as stated in Smith (1992),….”
  5. If you turn in a paper that someone else wrote, wrote part of, etc that is plagiarism.  If you give (or sell) someone else your work to present as his/her own, that is a violation of academic integrity.
  6. If you turn in a paper that you wrote (the words are yours), but someone else supplied you with the material and ideas, that is plagiarism.

If you have any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism or academic dishonesty at this point, here are some websites you can look at that have information:

And, be sure you are fully updated on the Rowan academic integrity policy, which can be found at:


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