Plagiarism and Cheating
Plagiarism and cheating are offenses against the integrity of the courses in which they occur and against the college community as a whole. Plagiarism and cheating involve intellectual dishonesty, deception and fraud, which inhibit the honest exchange of ideas.
Cheating is any form of intellectual dishonesty or misrepresentation of one’s knowledge. Plagiarism, a form of cheating, consists of representing someone else’s work as one’s own. All members of the Willamette University community are expected to be aware of the serious breach of principles involved in plagiarism. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism shall not be considered a valid defense. If students are uncertain as to what constitutes plagiarism for a particular assignment, they should consult the instructor for clarification.
A faculty member may impose penalties for plagiarism and cheating ranging from a grade reduction on an assignment or exam to failure in the course. Plagiarism and cheating may be grounds for dismissal from the college. Read the Plagiarism and Cheating Policy for more information.
Blatant examples of cheating include using books, notes, or other sources not expressly allowed during exams; copying on homework, in-class, or take-home exams; using any form of assistance if instructed to produce work individually; and knowingly assisting another student to engage in any of these behaviors. Examples of plagiarism include failing to cite written material that is directly quoted or paraphrased from another source, or failing to give credit for use of others’ ideas, pictures, graphs, diagrams, or figures. Plagiarism can be avoided by following the rules for citation provided in writing handbooks and standard style manuals. Both are available in the Willamette Store, the Writing Center and in the reference section of the library.
In the course of preparing a paper, doing a homework assignment, preparing for an examination, or participating in a class activity, you may have questions about whether certain practices or conduct could be viewed as plagiarism or cheating. If you have questions, ask your professor Faculty will respect your integrity for clarifying uncertainties and showing interest in avoiding these problems. It is dangerous to engage in practices or conduct that could later be called into question. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism or cheating will not serve as an excuse for the behavior.
The following examples are provided to further your understanding of plagiarism and cheating. These examples are illustrative only and are not intended as a complete description of the intellectual dishonesty, deception, or fraud that is prohibited under the plagiarism/cheating policy.
Student A and Student B are scheduled to take an in-class examination. Student B is not doing well in the class and fears flunking the course if unable to earn at least a C on the exam. The professor announced that students would not be allowed to use notes or books on the exam. Student A writes notes containing key concepts and formulas and affixes them to the bottom of a shoe that will be worn to the exam. Student A then sat in a location and position that allowed Student B to read the notes and formulas during the exam. Both Student A and Student B would be subject to penalties for cheating.
In accordance with the professor’s instructions, Student C consulted ten sources while preparing a term paper, and listed all ten sources in the bibliography. Student C also consulted two other sources, and relied on them substantially in developing the thesis of the paper and its structure, but failed to provide citations or to list them in the bibliography. Student C would be subject to penalties for plagiarism.
Student D was enrolled in two classes that required preparation of term papers on topics of the student’s choice. Without approval of faculty teaching the courses, Student D submitted a copy (or very similar version) of the same paper in both classes. Student D would be subject to penalties for cheating.