English Department Policy on Academic Honesty

Plagiarism is the deliberate appropriation or imitation of the language or thoughts of another author and representation of them as one’s own original work. Put another way, it is the conscious borrowing of another’s words and/or ideas, and passing them off as one’s own. If in doubt, give credit.

If you quote word-­for-­word from the text your class is studying, you must use quotation marks and a page citation. If you use even a word or phrase from the text, you MUST identify it as someone else’s with quotation marks. For longer passages (which should be indented and single­spaced) quotation marks are unnecessary, but page citations are still a must.

The English Department wants you to develop your own ideas and analytical abilities. In order to do so, you must always read the text being studied closely. We want you to have confidence in the strength of your own interpretations and ideas and to be willing to think deeply and critically about a text in order to generate your own understandings.

Thus, you may consult online sources, such as Wikipedia, only with your teacher's permission, and only to gather background information or to establish historical context. The moment you let Wikipedia or any other source begin to frame your analysis or interpretation, you are no longer honoring the goals of the department nor are you producing your own work. Furthermore, you should not consult sites that offer summary or analysis, such as GradeSaver or SparkNotes, because we want you to develop and hone the ability to summarize and analyze on your own. If you have any questions or doubts about these expectations, then you should ask your teacher.

Furthermore, the English Department assumes that when a student puts his or her name on a paper, ALL the contents and the expression thereof—except for the passages given proper credit—represent the work of only that student. As for homework, we encourage tutoring and helping each other to learn; we do, however, consider it cheating to provide or accept phrasing. All work submitted under a student’s name should be the expression of that student’s own best efforts.

It is not academically honest to turn in a paper that was written for another class or in a previous year without the permission of the teacher to whom you are submitting it.

Students must understand that other departments may have different citation expectations. It is each student’s responsibility to follow appropriate guidelines.