The policy of the Department of English is to treat any act of plagiarism with severity. A student's ignorance of plagiarism, either in general or in any of its particular aspects, is no excuse or defense. Neither are a student's benign intentions an acceptable excuse.
Penalties can include failing the course, or a complaint to the University Disciplinary Committee. A repetition of plagiarism at any time during the student's studies in the Department is grounds for permanent dismissal from the English Department.
The following are all acts of plagiarism:
1. Use of any idea or observation – whole or in part – from another book, website or person without giving credit for it to that book or person, either in the bibliography or in a footnote. If a specific idea or observation is borrowed, mere general mention in the bibliography without pinpointing the idea or place is not sufficient. Either a footnote or a parenthetical reference must be used.
2. If the exact words of another source – a book, website, or person – are used, both a footnote/parenthetical reference and quotation marks around those words quoted exactly must be used.
Simply giving a citation in the bibliography, or even only a footnote, even if it is precise, is not sufficient. The absence of quotation marks is also a form of plagiarism.
Although the use of a single word which another source suggests need not usually be quoted or related to, significant phrases or clauses borrowed verbatim from another source must be identified as such. Changing a word or a few words in a sentence or paragraph, or rearranging the order of the words in a sentence or paragraph does not alter the fact that both ideas and words have been taken from another source in a significant manner. The passage thus must be referred to as an item of bibliography, and all the words borrowed from the source must be put in quotation marks if plagiarism is to be avoided.
3. Plagiarism does not consist simply of the use of the words or ideas in a published book or article. A similar use of another student's paper – in whole or part – must be treated as bibliography and, if appropriate, quoted as outlined in number 2 above.
4. Similarly, oral help from another person should be given similar credit either in a footnote/endnote or in the bibliography, as the case warrants. The failure to document another person's supplying or augmenting an idea or words is also a form of plagiarism.