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Race and Ethnic Relations in America (Kim): Understanding Plagiarism

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Academic Dishonesty

What is Academic Integrity?

As a student and member of the Pepperdine community, you are here to get an education and are therefore, expected to demonstrate integrity in all of your academic endeavors.  You are evaluated on your own merits, so be proud of your accomplishments, and protect academic integrity at Pepperdine.

There are different forms of Academic Dishonesty:

  • Cheating:“I copied off of someone else’s exam.”
  • Fabrication:“I made up the results for that lab exercise”
  • Plagiarism:“ I didn’t write that part of my paper – I just cut and pasted the text directly from the Web.”
  • Multiple submissions:“ I submitted the same paper for two of my classes.”
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty:“I let my roommate copy my homework – it’s no big deal.”

What is Plagiarism

The presentation of another’s words or ideas as if they were your own without giving credit to the other person, including but not limited to:

  • Purchasing a paper on-line and submitting it as your own

  • Copying your roommate’s paper (or parts of it) and submitting it as your own

  • Paraphrasing ideas, data or writing from someone else’s work without properly acknowledging the original source

  • Unauthorized transfer and use of another person’s computer file as your own

Academic Integrity Policy from Seaver College

The Code of Academic Integrity at Seaver College is an integral part of the educational process. It makes possible an atmosphere conducive to the development of the total person through learning experiences. Since a person is more than intellect, learning is more than academic achievement. It includes achievement in all the qualities of an individual -intellectual, spiritual, ethical, emotional, and physical.

Seaver's Code of Academic Integrity provides among students, faculty members, and the administration a spirit of community where such development can take place. Furthermore, it creates a climate of mutual trust, respect, and interpersonal concern, where openness and integrity prevail.

This Code of Academic Integrity will enrich the educational process at Seaver College and encourage the development of a "Seaver spirit." This will lead to a pervasive sense of pride for and loyalty to Seaver's high standards of academic ethics, personal honesty, and spiritual values which imbue Seaver College as part of a Christian university.

The code emphasizes the dignity and development of each individual. The code maintains free competition and independent intellectual effort, not tolerating dishonesty, cheating, or plagiarism in any form. If intentional acts of dishonorable conduct occur, the code outlines infractions and clear-cut procedures as well as sanctions to censure such activity.

But, to be effective, the code must be maintained by the community. This requires a genuine sense of maturity, responsibility, and sensitivity on the part of every member. In particular, each member of the Seaver College community is expected to pursue his or her academic work with honesty and integrity.

Best Practices

Best Practices for Avoiding Plagiarism
There are many ways to avoid plagiarism, including developing good research habits, good time management, and taking responsibility for your own learning. Here are some specific tips:

  • Don't procrastinate with your research and assignments.
    Good research takes time. Procrastinating makes it likely you'll run out of time or be unduly pressured to finish. This sort of pressure can often lead to sloppy research habits and bad decisions. Plan your research well in advance, and seek help when needed from your professor, from librarians and other campus support staff.
  • Commit to doing your own work.
    If you don't understand an assignment, talk with your professor. Don't take the "easy way" out by asking your roommate or friends for copies of old assignments. A different aspect of this is group work. Group projects are very popular in some classes on campus, but not all. Make sure you clearly understand when your professor says it's okay to work with others on assignments and submit group work on assignments, versus when assignments and papers need to represent your own work.
  •  Be 100% scrupulous in your note taking.
    As you prepare your paper or research, and as you begin drafting your paper. One good practice is to clearly label in your notes your own ideas (write "ME" in parentheses) and ideas and words from others (write "SMITH, 2005" or something to indicate author, source, source date). Keep good records of the sources you consult, and the ideas you take from them. If you're writing a paper, you'll need this information for your bibliographies or references cited list anyway, so you'll benefit from good organization from the beginning.
  • Cite your sources scrupulously.
    Always cite other people's work, words, ideas and phrases that you use directly or indirectly in your paper. Regardless of whether you found the information in a book, article, or website, and whether it's text, a graphic, an illustration, chart or table, you need to cite it. When you use words or phrases from other sources, these need to be in quotes. Current style manuals, available at the Parks Library Help & Information desk, will help you use a consistent means of citation. They may also give further advice on avoiding plagiarism.
  • Understand good paraphrasing.
    Simply using synonyms or scrambling an author's words and phrases and then using these "rewrites" uncredited in your work is plagiarism, plain and simple. Good paraphrasing requires that you genuinely understand the original source, that you are genuinely using your own words to summarize a point or concept, and that you insert in quotes any unique words or phrases you use from the original source. Good paraphrasing also requires that you cite the original source. Anything less and you veer into the dangerous territory of plagiarism.

Subject Guide

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Jaimie Beth Colvin
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