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Student Handbook

Plagiarism Policy

As an educational institution, IU puts learning first. We want you to learn, and we think you value learning as well. We also value honesty and trust. You have every right to expect fair exams, fair assignments, and fair grades. By the same token, your instructor expects the work you hand in to be your own. You are welcome to discuss this course with other students and teachers, but when it comes to writing your assignments, all the words should come straight from you, unless you are supporting your assertions with a properly cited quote.

Passing off someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. As stated in Indiana University's Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (Part II, G.3), "Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else's work, including the work of other students, as one's own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered 'common knowledge' may differ from course to course.

  1. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.
  2. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge indebtedness whenever:
    1. directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
    2. using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
    3. paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
    4. borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material;
    5. offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment."

We take plagiarism very seriously. If you are caught plagiarizing, you could receive an F for the whole course.

So how can you avoid plagiarizing? When is it appropriate to cite your sources, and how should you cite them? The answer's simple. Ask your instructor. If you're unsure whether you've cited your sources appropriately, call or e-mail your instructor before you submit your assignment. Not only will you get answers to your questions, you'll reap the fruit of honesty: trust.