Charles Lipson's book, Doing Honest Work in College, defines academic honesty simply and directly:
These principles apply to every student, in every class or lab. The principles apply to papers, exams, projects, lab reports, translations and homework. They apply to students, professors, and administrators. Principles of academic honesty are required of every individual at the College. The AHA (American Historical Association) and the MLA (Modern Language Association) also demand academic honesty. The easiest and best way to uphold the required values of academic honesty is to be open and honest about every instance in which you consult or rely upon ideas and information from another source, whether that source is an article, a book, a reference, an interview or a website. Whether you quote, summarize or paraphrase the ideas of another writer, you must cite that writer's name and the source.
Of course, relying upon the work of another student and presenting that work as your own is never allowed. You may not copy, "borrow," buy or sell papers from any other sourcenot from another student, a essay or research service on the Internet, or an article/published source that you have not cited. These are cases of overt and deliberate plagiarism. There are, however, other ways that plagiarism occurs, often without as much calculation by the offender.
Plagiarism can occur through ignorance or laziness. It occurs when a writer uses ideas from a source but "forgets" to cite the source, or when a writer does not know how to cite a source (say, an on-line article or a critical analysis supplied by an electronic database) and so chooses not to include the citation in his or her work. It occurs when a writer quotes a source but fails to use quotation marks, or when a writer summarizes or paraphrases a source and uses a citation just once near the end of the paragraph or essay. It occurs when a writer reads an article "just to get some ideas," and then uses one of those ideas for the thesis of her paper. All plagiarism is plagiarism. To be sure, the College handles different cases of academic dishonesty in different ways, but each of these instances does constitute academic dishonesty nonetheless.
Here is Saint Anselm College's official statement on academic honesty. You can find this statement in the College Catalogue and in the Student Handbook. You should consult these sources for a full list of examples of academic dishonesty and the procedures the College uses to handle such cases. Familiarity with the College definitions and policy will ensure that you will not commit an inadvertent act of academic dishonesty and that you will know what to do if you are the victim of an individual who copies or steals your work and presents it as his or her own. The following consitutes the College's position on academic honesty:
"Since the assignments, paper, computer programs, tests and discussions of college course work are the core of the educational process, the College demands the strictest honesty of students in their various academic tasks. To ensure that the standards of honesty essential to meaningful accomplishment in the classroom are maintained, the College sets forth the following clarification of academic dishonesty and sanctioning procedures."
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Copyrighted by Hugh Dubrulle, 2009.