Students are reminded that the Hillsdale College Code of Conduct is strictly observed in the English Department with respect to the following:
Dishonesty, such as cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the College;
Forgery, alteration, or misuse of official documents, records, or identification.
The English Department policy on cheating is identical to the College Academic Cheating Policy. A first offense will be reported to the Registrar’s office. A second offense in any class shall result in dismissal from the College.
The English Department stresses that cheating on a minor assignment is as serious as cheating on a major one, and that student classification (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) has no bearing on whether the penalty will be invoked.
What constitutes most forms of cheating is obvious, but students often have questions about plagiarism and how to avoid it. It is plagiarism:
a. to turn in a paper written by another person (including reproduction of such papers). There is a legitimate area in which the student may seek help. A proofreading by another person may help locate mechanical errors, awkward constructions, etc. But “help” DOES NOT mean having another person make the corrections or revisions. In any case, the instructor is available to aid the student, and will probably give more reliable assistance than can be obtained elsewhere;
b. to copy from another source without proper acknowledgement of indebtedness.
c. to submit as an original work an essay previously submitted for another class or assignment. MLA 2.7.1 states: "If you must complete a research project to earn a grade in the course, handing in a paper you already earned credit for in another course is deceitful." Thus, you may not hand in previously submitted work without the express consent of your current professor. If you attempt to recycle your work, it will be treated as plagiarism and, therefore, as a violation of the academic honesty policy.
In general, submitting any work as one’s own when in fact it is not is plagiarism. Furthermore, as MLA 2.4 indicates, unintentional plagiarism (due to ignorance or carelessness) is nonetheless plagiarism.
“Proper acknowledgment” means giving credit for every idea, sentence, and phrase by documenting with parenthetical references throughout the paper, followed by a Works Cited page. A WORKS CITED PAGE BY ITSELF IS INSUFFICIENT. A direct quotation -- a word-for-word rendition -- from another source MUST be enclosed within quotation marks, followed by the appropriate parenthetical reference. A paraphrase is not enclosed within quotation marks, but the procedure is otherwise the same. This is also true of borrowed ideas.
Paraphrasing is not merely changing a word or two; it is putting in one’s own words the essence of what somebody else said. The paraphrase usually contains fewer words than the original source. Changing a few words in order to avoid using quotation marks is another form of plagiarism, even though the source is otherwise properly acknowledged. Usually, direct quotation is not as economical as paraphrase, and the writer should use the latter whenever possible.
The following examples will exemplify the foregoing principles. The “model” source is from Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer.
a. Once the stage is set, the presence of an outstanding leader
b. is indispensable. Without him there will be no movement.
c. The ripeness of the times does not automatically produce
d. a mass movement, nor can elections, laws and administrative
e. bureaus hatch one. It was Lenin who forced the flow of
f. events into the channels of the Bolshevik revolution. Had
g. he died in Switzerland, or on his way to Russia in 1917, it
h. is almost certain that the other prominent Bolsheviks would
i. have joined a coalition government. The result might have
j. been a more or less liberal republic run chiefly by the bour-
k. geoisie. In the case of Mussolini and Hitler the evidence
l. is even more decisive; without them there would have been
m. neither a Fascist nor a Nazi movement.
A. Once the stage is set, the presence of a leader is of utmost importance, for without him, there can be no movement. The ripeness of the times does not insure a mass movement any more than elections, laws, and administrative bureaus. Lenin, for example, forced the flow of events into the channels of the 1917 revolution, and the roles of Mussolini and Hitler were even more decisive; without them, there would have been neither a Fascist nor a Nazi movement (Hoffer 104-105).
The above is an example of changing two or three words in each sentence: it is nearly a direct quotation of the entire paragraph, with lines “g-j” omitted. Moreover, the plagiarized passage misconstrues the meaning of line “k,” for Hoffer’s emphasis is on the evidence, not on the roles of the men.
A Legitimate Paraphrase:
B. A mass movement depends as much upon a capable leader as upon the times; social political, and governmental events need a sure hand to manipulate them for purposes of revolution (Hoffer 104-105).
The above paraphrase renders the essence of the entire paragraph.
If the writer wishes to elaborate, if he wishes, even to use Hoffer’s examples, he might continue:
C. The movements we associate with Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler, for example, simply would not have existed had these men been politically inept (Hoffer 104-105).
Paragraph C logically follows B: since they both refer to the same passage in Hoffer’s book, the writer would omit the parenthetical reference after “revolution” in B.
Plagiarism (a “borrowed idea” in need of documentation):
D. Had it not been for Lenin, it is entirely possible that, instead of Communism, Russia would have a bourgeois-directed republic similar to that of the United States.
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