Description of Plagiarism and its Penalties:

The policy of the Department of English Language and Literature 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 is 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 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, and either a footnote or a parenthetical reference must be used.

2. If the exact words of another source—a book or person—are used, both a
footnote 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 footnoted, 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 idea and words have been taken from another source in a significant manner. The passage thus must be footnoted, 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 use of the words or ideas in a published book or article. Similar use of another student’s paper—in whole or part—must be footnoted and, if appropriate, quoted as outlined in #2 above.

4. Similarly, oral help from another person should be given similar credit either in a footnote 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.

Plagiarism Checklist (click to view)