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Plagiarism Policy

Sections in text boxes are to be included in course syllabi

Introduction

As an institution of higher learning, we expect all students to be honest and to behave with integrity—that is, to do their own work without unauthorized assistance.Although students' behavior is monitored at some level while they are here, to be successful students they must demand integrity from themselves during their time here and later in their lives.In addition, they should help to establish honesty as a value that characterizes the education of all students at SVC. Each and every student determines the academic climate of the college.
Skagit Valley College is committed to respecting the intellectual property rights of our faculty and students and the rights of colleagues and other experts outside of the college community.Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that our plagiarism policy protects these rights and educates all members of the SVC community regarding proper citations of the words and ideas of others.

Plagiarism

Definition
Plagiarism is presenting as one's own, intentionally or not, someone else's words, ideas, conclusions, images, or data, without specific acknowledgment.This includes, but is not limited to presenting the source's language without quotation marks (with or without citation); paraphrased language that is not cited; and/or language that is cited, but insufficiently paraphrased.
If students have questions about citation, acknowledgement, paraphrasing, or specific course standards related to plagiarism, they should consult with their instructor BEFORE submitting assignments that may contain questionable material.

Examples of plagiarism

Original source:
Bird, Kai, and Martin J. Sherwin. "J. Robert Oppenheimer: the Silencing of Dissent." Chronicle of Higher Education 51.32 (2005): B11-B12. Academic Search Premiere. EBSCOhost. Skagit Valley Coll. Lib., Mount Vernon. 21 February 2007. http://search.ebscohost.com.
Plagiarized language—whether quoted without credit or inadequately paraphrased—is rendered in blue, both in original and in student's writing.

Sample 1: Plagiarism-lifts language without quoting

Original:
Even as Oppenheimer cautioned against any drastic response, legislators on Capitol Hill began speaking of measures to counter the Soviet achievement. Within days the Truman administration endorsed a proposal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for increasing the production of nuclear weapons (Kai and Sherwin B11).

Student:
Plans were being made to increase the production of nuclear weapons even as Oppenheimer cautioned against any drastic response (Kai and Sherwin B11).

Sample 2: Plagiarism-improper paraphrasing of words and syntax

Original:
The Soviet Union secretly exploded an atomic bomb at an isolated testing site in Kazakhstan. Initially President Truman—who once told Oppenheimer that the Soviets would "never" get an atomic bombdidn't believe the evidence (B11).

Student:
According to Kai and Sherwin, the Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb in secret in Kazakhstan on August 29, 1949. The explosion took place at a remote testing site. At first President Truman refused to believe the evidence; in fact, he had previously assured Oppenheimer that he did not believe the Soviets would ever get an atomic bomb (B11).

Sample 3: Plagiarism-strings together poor paraphrasing and "lifted" language from a large block of text.

Original:
On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union secretly exploded an atomic bomb at an isolated testing site in Kazakhstan. Initially President Truman—who once told Oppenheimer that the Soviets would "never" get an atomic bomb—didn't believe the evidence.

Oppenheimer had never thought that the American monopoly would last long. Now he hoped the existence of a Soviet bomb would persuade Truman to renew the efforts he, Oppenheimer, had initiated in 1946 to internationalize control over all nuclear technology. But he also feared the administration might overreact; he had heard talk of preventive war in some quarters.

Even as Oppenheimer cautioned against any drastic response, legislators on Capitol Hill began speaking of measures to counter the Soviet achievement. Within days the Truman administration endorsed a proposal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for increasing the production of nuclear weapons. That was just the beginning. Strauss sent Truman a memorandum arguing that U.S. military superiority over the Soviets would inevitably diminish. Borrowing language from physics, he suggested that American could only regain its absolute advantage with a "quantum jump" in technology. The nation needed a crash program to develop the super-thermonuclear weapon.

In 1949 Oppenheimer was still serving as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission's General Advisory Committee. In October the committee unanimously recommended—on the basis of technical, military, political, and moral considerations—against a crash program to build the Super Bomb. Oppenheimer and his colleagues wanted to seize upon the Soviet breakthrough as an opportunity to reopen arms-control negotiations rather than to accelerate the nuclear buildup. Their suggestion was that the Truman administration propose a new arms-control initiative to establish a commitment that neither the United States nor the Soviet Union would build a hydrogen bomb (Kai and Sherwin B11).

Student:
Kai and Sherwin note that when the Soviet Union secretly exploded an atom bomb in Kazakhstan in August of 1949, Oppenheimer hoped that President Truman would renew efforts (initiated by Oppenheimer) to make control of nuclear technology an international effort. But because he also thought the administration might overreact, he cautioned against a severe response. Unfortunately, it didn't work. The Truman administration almost immediately agreed to a proposal to increase production of nuclear weaponsand that was only the beginning. Some were pushing for development of a super-thermonuclear weapon. Oppenheimer at that time was chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, and the committee suggested that Truman propose a new arms control initiative that would lead to both the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreeing that neither would build a hydrogen bomb (B11).

Sample 4: Not plagiarism.While the paraphrase includes some of the specific details from the original source, the content is written in the words of the writer.

Original:
On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union secretly exploded an atomic bomb at an isolated testing site in Kazakhstan. Initially President Truman—who once told Oppenheimer that the Soviets would "never" get an atomic bomb—didn't believe the evidence (Kai and Sherwin B11).

Student:
President Truman did not at first accept evidence of the Soviets' explosion of an atom bomb in Kazakhstan on August 29, 1949 (Kai and Sherwin B11)

Sample 5: Not plagiarism—sufficiently summarizes original without lifting language or syntax

Original:
On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union secretly exploded an atomic bomb at an isolated testing site in Kazakhstan. Initially President Truman—who once told Oppenheimer that the Soviets would "never" get an atomic bomb—didn't believe the evidence. Oppenheimer had never thought that the American monopoly would last long. Now he hoped the existence of a Soviet bomb would persuade Truman to renew the efforts he, Oppenheimer, had initiated in 1946 to internationalize control over all nuclear technology. But he also feared the administration might overreact; he had heard talk of preventive war in some quarters.

Even as Oppenheimer cautioned against any drastic response, legislators on Capitol Hill began speaking of measures to counter the Soviet achievement. Within days the Truman administration endorsed a proposal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for increasing the production of nuclear weapons. That was just the beginning. Strauss sent Truman a memorandum arguing that U.S. military superiority over the Soviets would inevitably diminish. Borrowing language from physics, he suggested that American could only regain its absolute advantage with a "quantum jump" in technology. The nation needed a crash program to develop the super-thermonuclear weapon.

In 1949 Oppenheimer was still serving as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission's General Advisory Committee. In October the committee unanimously recommended—on the basis of technical, military, political, and moral considerations—against a crash program to build the Super Bomb. Oppenheimer and his colleagues wanted to seize upon the Soviet breakthrough as an opportunity to reopen arms-control negotiations rather than to accelerate the nuclear buildup. Their suggestion was that the Truman administration propose a new arms-control initiative to establish a commitment that neither the United States nor the Soviet Union would build a hydrogen bomb (Bird and Sherwin B11)

Student:
Kai and Sherwin explain that after the Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb in August of 1949, Oppenheimer hoped that Truman would be encouraged to make international control of nuclear technology a priority. Instead, an American plan was developed to step up nuclear technology in the United States in order to respond to the Soviet threat. The Atomic Energy Commission—Oppenheimer was chairman of its General Advisory Committee—recommended the Truman administration use the development of the Soviet bomb to further arms-control negotiations (B11).

Detecting Plagiarism

While the growth of information and its accessibility via the Internet has arguably made it easier for students to plagiarize, it also makes it easier for educators to detect plagiarism. Students, who are tempted to use others' work as their own or copy phrases or ideas as their own should be aware that if they find a web site from which to steal words and ideas, their instructors can also find it.

It doesn't take a lot of time to discover a plagiarized document. One of the easiest methods to detect plagiarism is to cut and paste suspected passages from a paper into common search engines. This produces a list of source material that can be compared against the student's work to ensure it was produced fairly. In addition, many instructors share collected lists of websites that provide downloadable college papers. Those websites are often linked to a growing industry that produces anti-plagiarism software available for purchase. Furthermore, there are dozens of free software applications that instructors can download and use to detect plagiarism.

Although detection of plagiarism can be useful in stemming its use by students, the best approach is for students to be educated about the negative impact of plagiarism and why it is wrong.

Consequences

If it is determined that a student plagiarized any portion of an assignment, s/he can receive a failing grade for the assignment. S/he will fail the course in which the plagiarism occurred if the course instructor determines that the plagiarism is repeated or serious in nature. In these cases, a student has the right to appeal the course grade via the student grievance process. Since plagiarism is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, all incidents of plagiarism on which an instructor takes action are reported to the office responsible for student discipline. The college may take disciplinary action in addition to any academic penalty assigned by instructors. If a student is found responsible for repeated or serious plagiarism offenses, s/he may be suspended or expelled from the college in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct, WAC 132D-120-080.  Disciplinary decisions may be appealed via the disciplinary appeals process described in the Code of Student Conduct, WAC 132D-120-230 [include hyperlink]. The Skagit Valley College policy on plagiarism can be seen online at http://www.skagit.edu/plagiarism.

Faculty Procedures

When an instructor determines that a student has plagiarized an assignment, s/he will contact the student to discuss the situation if at all possible and allow the student to present his/her perspective on the case. It is not mandatory for student and instructor to meet in subsequent occurrences of plagiarism during the quarter if the student has been warned. The instructor will also contact the student conduct office on campus. The instructor may invite the student conduct administrator to join in the meeting with the student and/or the administrator may hold a separate disciplinary conference with the student. The instructor will determine how to grade the assignment and/or the course in keeping with the policies outlined in the course syllabus. Instructors are to grade course assignments in light of work completed during the current quarter only. The student conduct administrator will decide what, if any, college disciplinary action will be taken.