Plagiarism, Academic Honesty, and Citing Sources

The USC Aiken Student Handbook defines violations of academic integrity as follows:

The principle of academic integrity prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty including cheating, lying, bribery, and plagiarism. The following examples illustrate conduct that violates academic integrity, but this list is not exhaustive.

  • Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance, or attempting to give or receive such assistance in connection with the performance of any academic work.

  • Unauthorized use of materials or information of any type or the unauthorized use of any electronic or mechanical device in connection with the completion of any academic work.

  • Unauthorized use of any portable electronic device unless required for the course during a test period without consent of the instructor.

  • Access to the contents of any test or examination of the purchase, sale, or theft of any test or examination prior to its administration.

  • Use of another person’s work without proper acknowledgement of source; i.e. plagiarism.

  • Intentional misleading of any person in connection with any academic work including the scheduling, completion, performance, or submission of any such work.

  • Offering or giving any favor or thing of value for the purpose of influencing improperly a grade or other evaluation of a student in an academic program.

  • Conduct intended to interfere with an instructor’s ability to evaluate accurately a student’s competency or performance in an academic program.

Only the appropriate faculty member can “authorize” assistance, use of materials, etc. Whenever a student is uncertain as to whether conduct would violate academic integrity, it is the responsibility of the student to seek clarification from the appropriate faculty member prior to engaging in such conduct.

University of South Carolina: A Brief Guide to Proper Attribution of Ideas and Expression, Avoiding Plagiarism.

Plagiarism could be defined as follows:

Plagiarism is intentionally or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own. It includes submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work, which has wholly or in part been created by another. It also includes the presentation of the work, ideas, representations, or words of another without customary and proper acknowledgement of sources. Students must consult instructors for clarification in any situation in which documentation is an issue. Students will be considered to have plagiarized whenever their work is not properly documented.

Academic Integrity is a core value of our community of learners. Every member of the academic community (students, faculty, and staff) is expected to maintain high standards of integrity in all facets of work and study. The Student Guide to Academic Integrity describes appropriate academic conduct in research, writing, assessment, and ethics. 

Academic dishonesty is not tolerated at USC Aiken. The penalties can be severe and include: failing the assignment, failing the course, and referral to Student Judicial Programs to face form conduct charges.Students found in violation may be suspended or expelled and can have a permanent notation affixed to the official transcript indicating that an academic integrity violation occurred. Students are urged to discuss questions regarding academic integrity with instructors, advisors, or with the academic deans.

Please note that even if you paraphrase another's work, you must also cite your source in the text, just as you would a direct quote. Additionally, submitting a paper you have written for another course is also a form of plagiarism known as multiple submissions.

You may be turning in papers through Turnitin or SafeAssign, online tools that assists in discovering plagiarism. Click on the link for a great resource to help you avoid plagiarism.

If you intentionally or blatantly plagiarize, you will fail the class, and the case can be reported to Student Judiciary.

For scholarly writing formats you may be using either MLA or APA formatting, depending on the topic of your submissions, and cite your sources. Projects focused on the fields of English, literature, languages, or culture will use MLA; projects focused on the social sciences, business, or nursing will use APA. Review appropriate citation guides like the Purdue’s Research and Citation Resources. Generally, the following principles apply:

  1. All quotes, summaries, paraphrases, and facts must have two types of documentation. The first is a parenthetical or in-text citation inserted in the text where the referenced content appears. The second is a bibliographic entry or endnote on a References/Works Cited page at the end of the paper.

  2. Anything cited word-for-word is a quote and must appear in quotation marks. Quotes must be documented.

  3. Any source cited in the paper should have a corresponding bibliographic entry/endnote at the end of the document.

  4. Only sources cited in the paper should appear in the References/Works Cited. Sources you read but do not cite may be cited in a separate Works Consulted.

  5. All quotes, paraphrases, and summaries must have page numbers as they are identified in the original source. Many internet sites do not have page numbers listed online (it does not count if they appear when you print out the document), although some do (such as pdfs and online journals). Only site a page number if it is identified in the original source.

Be sure to review this information carefully, as it includes clarifications of the policies upheld in this course, especially the Student Guide to Academic Integrity.


Academic Freedom

“Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to the subject.” The preceding comes from the American Association of University Professors’ statement on academic freedom. Though the entire statement speaks to many issues, it is this portion on the conduct of the course that is most relevant.  For the purpose of [coursework], this means that faculty members have the right to conduct their classes in a fashion they deem appropriate as long as the material presented meets the learning objectives laid out by the entire faculty.