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Statement on Academic Misconduct

The English Department regards any type of academic misconduct as a serious offense.  Academic misconduct can take many forms, including plagiarism, collusion, or cheating on tests or exams.

I. Plagiarism is the deliberate presentation of the writing or ideas of another as one's own.

  1. You must acknowledge the sources of any information in your work which is not either common knowledge or personal knowledge.  Common knowledge, such as the dates of Bill Clinton's presidency or the freezing point of water, is information that belongs generally to the educated public. Personal knowledge is something that you know through your own direct personal experience.
  3. You must acknowledge direct quotation, either by using quotation marks or indenting longer passages.  Without quotation marks, or indentation, a quotation is plagiarized even if it is followed by an in-text citation or a footnote.
  5. If you rephrase the original passage from the source by merely changing a few words or altering its structure, you are still committing plagiarism.  Ask your instructor for help if you are having trouble paraphrasing appropriately.
  7. If you use the ideas, examples, or structure of a source without acknowledgement, you are plagiarizing.
  9. If you purchase, download, borrow, or steal a paper, or any part of a paper, written by someone else, and present it as your own work, you are plagiarizing.
  11. You also cannot use an assignment for more than one course without prior written approval from both instructors.

II. Collusion (i.e. allowing someone else to write, revise, or edit your academic work) is also a form of academic misconduct.  Changes or corrections can be suggested by an instructor, peer editor, tutor, or even a friend or family member, but the person cannot revise or edit the paper for you.

III. Cheating. On quizzes, tests, or exams, you must abide by the rules established by your instructor.  For example, if you are told you cannot use books or notes, then using notes during the exam is considered to be academic misconduct.  Obviously, you cannot use answers that have been provided by anyone else (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), and you also cannot use an illegally obtained copy of the test or exam to gain an unfair advantage over your fellow students.

Penalties for academic misconduct can be severe, ranging from a failing grade on the assignment to suspension or even expulsion from the University of Wisconsin System.  Students may appeal these penalties following procedures outlined by UWS 14, the section of the UW  System's code on academic disciplinary policies and procedures.

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