Students are responsible for knowing the following:
Shared commitment to ethical principles is essential to the educational purposes and fairness of the academic enterprise. Occidental College assumes that students and faculty will embrace a high ethical standard for academic work. Fundamental to academic ethics is a spirit of honor. A spirit of honor thrives when students challenge each other to attain the highest levels of scholarship, civility, and responsibility. In all work, students shall behave conscientiously, taking and giving credit where credit is due, avoiding even an appearance of impropriety, and when in doubt, consulting the instructor or other knowledgeable persons as to whether particular conduct, collaboration, and/or acknowledgment of sources is appropriate. Students also shall report suspected misconduct and participate in an academic disciplinary hearing if required.
Academic misconduct occurs when a student misrepresents others' work as her/his own or otherwise behaves so as to unfairly advantage her/himself or another student academically. Examples of misconduct include cheating and plagiarism and failure to report suspected academic misconduct. If misconduct occurs to any extent in connection with any academic work, it will be subject to disciplinary action.
Cheating occurs when a student attempts to complete or take credit for work by any dishonest means or assists another in doing so. Some examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, lying to obtain an academic advantage; copying from another’s exam or assignment or collaborating on an exam or assignment, unless specifically allowed by the instructor; submitting the same work in more than one course without instructor permission; falsifying data collected in research or laboratory courses; taking or receiving copies of an exam without the permission of the instructor; and using notes or other information devices inappropriate to the test conditions.
Plagiarism occurs when the ideas, organization, or language of another are incorporated into one’s work without properly crediting the original source with a citation or other disclosure. It includes re-writing or re-formatting material without acknowledging the original source of the ideas. Even if the language and organization are in the student’s own words, any ideas or information that are not common knowledge must be acknowledged in a reference.
Students are responsible for knowing and using the correct procedures for acknowledging and identifying sources of borrowed material. Failure to properly credit sources in all or part of work presented in draft or final form to anyone is plagiarism, regardless of whether it occurs as a result of dishonest intent or carelessness and regardless of the course credit attached to it. As a student scholar, if you:
- Quote directly from a source: you must enclose the quoted material, even if it is no more than a phrase or a single distinctive word (such as a neologism), within quotation marks, and provide a reference.
- Paraphrase, i.e., restate the material in your own words: (a) the paraphrasing must represent a substantial change from the original, not just the changing of occasional words and phrases, and (b) you must provide a reference.
- Present material that is common knowledge, but borrow someone else’s organizational pattern: you must acknowledge that borrowing in a reference.
Penalties for academic misconduct are severe (see “Academic Misconduct”), and ignorance of the principles and policies concerning cheating and plagiarism is not a defense. Students with any doubts at all about whether an action or piece of academic work involves academic misconduct should consult their instructors before committing the action or submitting the work.
Last updated on May 31, 2013
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