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Academic Honesty / Documentation Guides

College Policy

Our purpose in the classroom is to seek the truth; this work requires trust and honesty between teacher and student. If we are not honest about what we know and don't know, our learning will always be impaired. Because our teaching and learning depends on this honest communication, we expect all students to understand what plagiarism is and why it is unacceptable.

Plagiarism means taking someone else's ideas or words and presenting them as one's own. The offense can take many forms including cheating on a test, passing in a paper taken from the Internet or from another student, or failing to properly use and credit sources in an essay. Sometimes the issue is subtle, involving getting too much help on an assignment from someone else. In every instance, plagiarism means cheating both oneself and the owner of the source. Since the cheating sabotages a student's learning experience, consequences range from no credit for the assignment to failure for the course and possible expulsion from the college.

Any student considering plagiarism should recognize the consequences and consider alternatives. Students uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism may request help from faculty or from appropriate college services.

Understanding and avoiding plagiarism

    This is a comprehensive site prepared by
  •  Avoiding Plagiarism (Purdue OWL)
    This resource helps define the gray areas in using and citing sources for research papers and documented essays.
  • Asking questions
    Bring your questions to your instructor or other college personnel. Crediting sources can be confusing and many resources are available for help, including tutoring.

Valuing Ownership

As our policy suggests, a major objective of college courses is to create an atmosphere of honest inquiry, to determine what we already understand and what we need to learn. We establish this trust when we use and value our own words and give credit to the words of others. The rationale for giving credit involves understanding the basic principles of U.S. copyright law as well as some conventions of academics called documentation.


This is a right guaranteed by Title17 of the U.S. Code.
Authors and artists have the exclusive right to control the use of work they created in any tangible medium of expression including electronic formats. Any work created on or after March 1, 1989 is copyrighted--even if the owner does not include a copyright notice. A notice provides warning and is recommended but notice is not required. For details see:

Using and Citing Sources (Documentation)

Tutoring for Writing Assignments

  • Writing Center, Room 208 of The Learning Center provides tutors for college writing assignments.