Understanding Academic Integrity
At the University of New Orleans (UNO), we take academic misconduct seriously. Students, please review the Academic Misconduct Policy
Instructors are to report all suspected academic misconduct.
Tools & Tips
Students should refer to each course’s syllabus for information on how to maintain academic integrity. Often instructors will include their expectations for collaboration and use of materials on assignments. If you ever have a question about class expectations, be sure to ask your instructor
In Microsoft Office Word, you can automatically generate a bibliography based on the source information that you provide for the document. Read more at Microsoft.com » or watch this tutorial to learn more about using the Microsoft References tool.
Purdue has an online writing lab (OWL) that has many helpful resources: Purdue OWL // Purdue Writing Lab
The University of Southern Mississippi has a plagiarism tutorial found here: University of Southern Mississippi (usm.edu)
What is Plagiarism?
The UNO Code of Student Conduct defines plagiarism as “Plagiarism: The unacknowledged inclusion of someone else’s actual words, ideas or data or the paraphrasing of someone else’s words, ideas or data as if they were the student's own. All source material must be appropriately identified and cited according to the conventions for acknowledging source material. Students are responsible for learning these scholarly conventions; disregard of proper citation conventions can be considered plagiarism.”
While most commonly associated with writing, all types of scholarly work, including computer code, music, scientific data and analysis, and electronic publications can be plagiarized. The aim of this section is to help students and faculty deal with the complex and important issue of plagiarism on campus.
Nearly everyone understands that copying passages verbatim from another writer's work and representing them as one's own is plagiarism. Copying passages of writing or direct quotations, but also paraphrasing or using structure or ideas without citation is plagiarism. Learning how to paraphrase and when and how to cite is an essential step in maintaining academic integrity.
Intent to Plagiarize?
Plagiarism, strictly speaking, is not a question of intent. Common explanations by students include, “I didn’t mean to.” and “I meant to go back and correct the quotations.” (or citations or other areas of concern.) Any use of the content or style of another's intellectual product without proper attribution constitutes plagiarism. However, students plagiarize for a variety of reasons, and awareness of these reasons is essential for understanding the problem.
Some students choose to plagiarize. Whether claiming to be overworked, compensating for their own perceived academic or language deficiencies, or simply hoping to gain an academic advantage, those who choose to claim credit for another's work are guilty of plagiarism. Those who intentionally plagiarize "borrow" either from published sources, such as books, journal articles, or electronic information, or from unpublished sources, such as a friend's paper/assignment or use a commercial writing service.
Sometimes plagiarism can result from ineffective writing process, sloppy proofreading or note taking, or, most commonly, simple ignorance about the nature of plagiarism and the conventions of writing and citations. This kind of plagiarism is still a violation of the Code of Conduct.
Like a direct quotation, a paraphrase is the use of another's ideas to enhance one's own work. A paraphrase, just like a quotation, must be cited. In a paraphrase, however, the author rewrites in their own words the ideas taken from the source so a paraphrase is not set within quotation marks. While the ideas may be borrowed, the borrower's writing must be entirely original; merely changing a few words or rearranging words or sentences is not paraphrasing. Even if properly cited, a paraphrase that is too similar to the writing of the original is plagiarized.
Good writers often signal paraphrases through clauses such as "Werner Sollors, in Beyond Ethnicity, argues that..." This will allow a write to avoid excessive quotations, which can clog writing, and demonstrate that the writer has thoroughly digested the source author's argument. A full citation, of course, is still required.
When done properly, a paraphrase is usually much more concise than the original and always has a different sentence structure and word choice. Yet no matter how different from the original, a paraphrase must always be cited, because its content is not original to the author of the paraphrase.
Here are two sites with examples of proper and improper paraphrasing to which you can refer:
Note Taking & Proofreading
Good paraphrasing skills allow a writer to make use of source material in a fluid and honest way.
However, proper note taking and careful proofreading, which come before and after the writing, can be just as important for producing high-quality and accurately-attributed scholarship. When taking notes, do not copy directly from a source unless you intend to quote that source directly. Rather, read carefully, take time to think, and then write down, in your own words, the main ideas of what you have read.
Of course, be sure to note the source for proper citation. These notes will then become the basis of your summary. Skipping the note taking step and paraphrasing directly from a source into a draft of your work not only limits your ability to think through the ideas for yourself but also increases the likelihood that you will commit negligent plagiarism. It is perhaps best to view note taking as an opportunity to develop and organize your own ideas.
Proofreading, like note taking, is a vital step in the writing process that students too often skip. Proofreading offers the opportunity to check your work for errors of spelling and punctuation as well as overall fluidity of style and coherence of argument. It is also the time to verify all references and citations. Do not, however, wait until proofreading to include citations. Citations should be included in the first draft. It is simply too easy to omit a reference accidentally and then forget the source of a fact, quotation, or paraphrase.
Group work or group efforts/collaboration that extend beyond the limits approved by the instructor as outlined in the course syllabus often constitute collaboration. For example, an instructor may allow students to work together while researching, but require each student to write a separate report; if the students collaborate while writing the report, they are responsible for academic misconduct, specifically unauthorized collaboration. In this example, each student submits a written work misrepresented as their own, which in fact they have borrowed from other, unattributed sources: the other students.
Remember, plagiarism includes not just copying from a published source, but also submitting work obtained from any other source. If you have any questions, ask your instructor for guidelines regarding collaboration.
Adapted from the University of Texas at Austin and Louisiana State University