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Identifying & Avoiding Plagiarism: Importance

Information pertinent to plagiarism prevention.

Code of Academic Integrity

Note: The following is quoted directly from the USC Upstate Student Handbook. For more details and other items that fall under  academic integrity, please see p. 138-139.

"Under the Code of Academic Integrity, students are on their honor not to cheat, lie or steal, and if they witness another student doing so, it is their responsibility to report the individual and the circumstances to the instructor or the dean of students.

D. Plagiarism

Plagiarism, or literary theft, in any writing assignment: using others' words or ideas without consistent, correctly formatted acknowledgement. This includes sources the student knows personally (friends, other students, relatives, etc.) as well as all text, Internet, and other sources. Students are required to properly acknowledge sources as follows: students may not present as their own ideas, opinions, images, figures, languages or concepts of another, including those of other students. Students must acknowledge sources such as magazines, journals, Internet sites, records, tapes, films and interviews. Papers and other materials bought from "term paper writing services," if submitted as the work of anyone except the writing service, constitute a violation of the principles of this document. Further, violation of any of the following standards may be cause for disciplinary action. The common specific uses of source material are:

Direct Quotation: Word-for-word copying of a source. Direct quotation must be accurate, must not misrepresent the source in any way and must be properly acknowledged.

Paraphrase: A recasting into one's own words material from a source, generally condensing the source. A direct quotation with only a word or two changed, added or omitted should not be passed off as a paraphrase. A paraphrase restates the source but does not misrepresent it and must be properly acknowledged.

Self-Plagiarism: The act of re-using your own work without letting your professor know that it comes from a previous paper or assignment. This can include parts of a previous assignments or an entire paper.

Use of ideas: The use of an idea from a source must be properly acknowledged, even when one's application of that idea varies from the source.

Use of figures, tables, charts, statistics, images, photographs and other similar sources: These items must be fully acknowledged, and any changes must be clearly indicated. If a student has received any kind of help (except that permitted by an instructor) in the preparation of a project, that help must be fully acknowledged.

Sanctions of Academic Integrity violations include, but are not limited to:

  • expulsion;
  • indefinite suspension;
  • definite suspension;
  • reprimand;
  • "X" assigned for the final grade;
  • "F" assigned for the course;
  • "0" assigned for the assignment, test or paper;
  • additional assignments from the professor;
  • completion of plagiarism workshop and
  • community service.

The sanctions provided for in this section are intended to be disciplinary, and nothing in these procedures, including the imposition of any sanction, shall be interpreted to limit the academic authority of an instructor to determine an appropriate grade for a student who has violated the Rule. If an instructor determines that, because of academic dishonesty, a student's performance in an academic program merits a grade reduction or a failing grade, the instructor's authority to award such an appropriate grade is not limited by the imposition of any sanction under this Section.

Infractions of the Code of Academic Integrity may result in removal from academic programs by the authority of the specific Academic Dean. Students removed by the Academic Dean for academic integrity violations have the same rights outlined in the USC Upstate Code of Student Behavior regarding notice and an opportunity to be heard before the honor council."

Plagiarism: Don't Do It