The University's Policy regarding Academic Honesty and Plagiarism can be found in Section 5 of RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES (Full Text Online PDF FILE) in the 2003-2004 BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY HANDBOOK. The relevant paragraphs are as follows:

SECTION 3: Maintenance of Academic Integrity

3.0 Every member of the University community is expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. A student shall not receive credit for work that is not the result of the student's own effort or for work that is falsified. Infringement of academic honesty by a student subjects that student to serious penalties that may include failure in the course (with or without a notation on the transcript) as well as other sanctions (see SECTION 2.1). A student who is in doubt regarding standards of academic honesty in a course or assignment should consult the faculty member responsible for that course or assignment before submitting the work. A student's lack of understanding is not a valid defense to a charge of academic dishonesty.

3.1 A student's name on any written exercise (e.g., examination, report, thesis, theme, notebook, laboratory report, computer program, etc.), or in association with an oral presentation constitutes a representation that the work is the result of that student's own thought and study, stated in the student's own words, and produced without the assistance of others, except as quotation marks, references, and footnotes accurately acknowledge the use of other sources (including sources found on the internet). Talking during an examination, or possession or use of unauthorized materials during an examination, constitutes an infringement of academic honesty. Attempting to receive credit for work not originally submitted also constitutes an infringement of academic honesty.

3.2 In some instances, a student may be authorized by a faculty member to work jointly with (an)other student(s) in solving problems or completing projects. However, students may not collaborate on assignments without explicit permission from the instructor. To provide, either knowingly or through negligence, one's own work to assist another student in satisfying a course requirement constitutes an infringement of academic honesty. Aid from personnel associated with University-sanctioned tutoring services is acceptable; tutor-assisted work submitted for a grade should be done with approval of the instructor.

3.3 Unless permission is received in advance from the faculty member in charge of the course involved, a student may not submit, in identical or similar form, work for one course that has been used to fulfill any academic requirement in another course at Brandeis or any other institution. A student who perceives the possibility of overlapping assignments in courses should consult with the appropriate faculty members before presuming that a single effort will fulfill requirements of both courses.

Policies on Academic Honesty: To help clarify and bring home the full import of these policies I have compiled a number of resources which provide both a more detailed discussion of the issue of plagiarism as well as guidance for the citing of sources.

  1. WHAT IS PLAGIARISM? A closer look from Kansas State University and Harvard University.

  2. EXAMPLES OF PLAGIARISM Examples of plagiarism from Princeton University and Dartmouth College.

  3. HOW TO CITE SOURCES A set of guidelines from Professor McAfee's Class Notes showing "you how to quote from the texts you read in class and find on the internet and (briefly) how to cite primary and secondary materials for philosophy papers." A good, concise set of links..

  4. QUOTING, PARAPHRASING, AND SUMMARIZING. Owl Handout "intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. The first part of the handout compares and contrasts the terms, while the second part offers a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills." This document is part of a collection of instructional materials used in the Purdue University Writing Lab. The online version is part of OWL (Online Writing Lab), a project of the Purdue University Writing Lab, funded by the School of Liberal Arts at Purdue.

  5. CITING SOURCES FROM THE INTERNET. "The Internet is a widely-used tool for research, but unfortunately, style manuals contain little information on how to document electronic sources. This page contains links to sources which will help students, teachers, and anybody doing research on the Internet to cite such sources using different styles. Some links come from "Cyber Citations," an article by Michael A. Arnzen, which appeared in Internet World in September 1996. Some of the addresses were no longer current and are updated here, and many more have been added. Two main documentation styles used in the U.S.A. are MLA (the Modern Language Association) and APA (the American Psychological Association). The MLA style is used in the humanities, and the APA in the natural and social sciences. Full instructions for MLA and APA styles, including updated instructions for citing electronic sources, are available on the [site]." This document is part of a collection of instructional materials used in the Purdue University Writing Lab. The on-line version is part of OWL (On-line Writing Lab), a project of the Purdue University Writing Lab, funded by the School of Liberal Arts at Purdue.

  6. ELEMENTS OF STYLE. "This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. The numbers of the sections may be used as references in correcting manuscript." from the Introduction to William Stunk, The Elements of Style, Ithaca, N.Y.: Priv. print. [Geneva, N.Y.: Press of W.P. Humphrey], 1918.

  7. LINKS ON THE WEB TO CITING PRINT AND ELECTRONIC SOURCES Citation styles availble on the World Wide Web prepared by Lamont Library Harvard University Reference Librarian: "It is important to remember that methods for citing electronically accessed information are still in a state of flux. Standards are just beginning to emerge and there is still considerable variation within any style. However, there does not appear to be consensus that traditional citation information, as well as some information unique to electronic formats should be included. The path of access (usually the Universal Resource Locator or URL) and the dat of access are found in all styles. Often, but not always, the mode of access or electronic format is also included (CD-ROM, WWW site, Commercial database, etc.) What is important is that you are consistant throughout your paper in how the citations are presented and what information they include. Remember, the whole concept of citations is to help your reader identify and retrieve the same material you used." .

  8. HARVARD GUIDE TO WRITING WITH SOURCES This guide is designed for Harvard students enrolled in Expository Writing, a required writing course for all in-coming students. It is recommended to students that this booklet be "consulted as necessary when you write papers or do other assignments using sources. Some students will have been trained in writing with sources before coming to [the University]; others will have had little or no training. The booklet aims to help both groups. Without a grasp of the information it contains, you risk taking valuable time away from the creative process of writing a paper and in certain circumstances could face disciplinary action. Even if you believe you already understand when and how to cite sources, you should compare your understanding with the instructions that follow. Your [Writing] instructor will supplement them with examples and exercises. Don't hesitate to ask about rules or situations that are unclear to you, since they may come up again in other classes or in the rumored life [to come] after [college]." from the Preface to WRITING WITH SOURCES: A Guide for Harvard Students, by Gordon Harvey, Expository Writing Program, Copyright 1995, The President and Fellows of Harvard University

  9. RESEARCH PAPERS ON THE INTERNET: THE BERKMAN DECISION. On September 27, 1998, Maria Morgan, a first-year student at the University, downloaded a free paper on 19701s pop culture off the Instant Term Papers (ITP) site on the World Wide Web, made a few minor stylistic changes, and turned it in for credit in her American Culture class. She did not cite ITP as a source for "her" paper, and did not tell her professor that she had downloaded the paper off the Internet. Ms. Morgan1s perfidy would likely have gone unnoticed had the University not performed a search of student computers to check if students were accessing Web sites that offer term papers, including the ITP site. This search indicated that Ms. Morgan had accessed the ITP site. At school disciplinary hearings, Ms. Morgan identified the ITP Web site as the source of her paper. The disciplinary board suspended her from school for one year. The Internet presents a new paradigm that often challenges our existing modes of operation. One of the perils introduced by the Internet is the immediate accessibility of research papers that are available on the web. The Internet provides instant, easy, inexpensive access to thousands of packaged, pre-written papers that students can use as a substitute for their own work. According to the findings of the Berkman legislature, this vast new opportunity for plagiarism has cast its spell on students who previously did not succumb to such temptation. In response, the Berkman Legislature enacted the EDUCATIONAL HONESTY ACT to prevent the increasing incidence of plagiarism over the Internet. (See also the ARTICLE FROM THE BERKMAN CITY PRESS. In order to achieve its purpose, the act targets the student plagiarists and the organizations that sell to them. It is the viability of this latter feature that we must decide today. Using the private right of action granted in the Act, Berkman University sued Instant Term Papers (ITP) for distributing a paper with knowledge that it might be represented as original work. ITP has countered that the Act is overbroad, restricts the distribution of scholarly research over the Internet, and thus violates the first amendment. Read THE ARGUMENT OF THE DEFENSE. Maria Morgan [sued] Berkman University for suspending her for one year for an act of plagiarism, [claiming] that the school violated her fourth amendment right to privacy by "spying" on her Internet use. Read the OPINION OF THE LOWER COURT. Then read the TRANSCRIPT OF THE TRIAL and the OPINION OF THE APPEALS COURT.

  10. HOW TO AVOID HIGH-RISK SITUATIONS. "Students who misuse sources usually don't set out to; they usually plan to write a thoughtful paper that displays their own thinking. But they allow themselves to slip into a situation in which they either misuse sources out of negligence or come to believe that they have no choice but to misuse sources. Here are some suggestions for avoiding such situations. . . . " - from Chapter Three of WRITING WITH SOURCES: A Guide for Harvard Students, by Gordon Harvey, Expository Writing Program, Copyright 1995, The President and Fellows of Harvard University


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August 2, 1999


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