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English 080/111 - Plagiarism Policy


Academic Integrity Statement:

According to the SVSU Student Handbook, “Academic integrity is undermined whenever one is dishonest in the pursuit of knowledge.  Dishonesty takes many forms, including cheating, plagiarism, and other activities for undermining the educational process.“

‘Cheating’ occurs whenever one attempts to gain an advantage through a violation of rules regarding the relevant behavior.  It should be assumed that collaboration is cheating unless explicitly authorized” (16).

In English 080 and 111, cheating in any form will result in a grade of zero (0) for that assignment.“

’Plagiarism’ involves intentionally or unintentionally presenting another person’s expressions – ideas, opinions, illustrations, data, style – as one’s own expression” (16).

Forms of plagiarism include directly transcribing (copying) without quotation and attribution, summarizing without attribution, paraphrasing or patchwork paraphrasing without attribution, patching electronic materials (including pictures, graphs, and/or charts) without attribution.

In English 080 and 111, deliberate plagiarism, whether on a paper’s early draft or on a paper’s final draft, will result in the grade of zero (0) for the entire assignment.  “

’Undermining the Educational Process’ occurs whenever one attempts to prevent another’s learning or subverts the recognized means by which learning occurs” (16).

The goal of SVSU faculty is to help each student achieve success through learning the concepts and skills for which the course was designed.  In a university classroom, the learning that takes place is determined by the quality of the interactions of all members of the class.

Specifically the SVSU Student Handbook states, "No student shall engage in conduct that disrupts or interferes with the educational activities in classrooms . . . computer laboratories . . . or any other place where education and teaching activities take place.  This includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as talking at inappropriate times, drawing unwarranted attention to him or herself, engaging in loud and distracting behaviors, displaying defiance or disrespect to peers or threatening any University employee or student.  No student shall engage in conduct that is disruptive or interferes with the rights of others on University property . . . nor shall a student obstruct, disrupt, interfere, or attempt to interfere with another student’s right to learn or complete academic requirements"   (34). 

In English 080 and 111, any student who engages in any of these behaviors that undermine the educational process will be asked to leave the class immediately and lose any possible credit for that class period.  To return to the class, the student will be required to schedule a meeting with the instructor to discuss his or her plans for modifying their behavior in question.

Important Note:  In any case of cheating, plagiarism, or engaging in behavior that undermines the educational process, in addition to the consequences outlined above, the instructor may choose to report the behavior to the Office of Student Conduct, following the protocols outlined on pages 32-37 in the SVSU Student Handbook.


Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty in which a person uses the words, thoughts, graphic images, charts, and/or ideas of others without citing, and thus attributing, the author and source material used.  Source materials include, but are not limited to, the following:

books; newspapers; pamphlets, brochures, and information sheets; periodicals and magazines; films and videos; CDs and CD-ROMs; internet and electronic sources; lectures; and interviews.

While some plagiarism is unintentional and results from the lack of knowledge of or inexperience with correct citation practices, some is intentional and deliberate.  Either is subject to Saginaw Valley State University's policy regarding academic dishonesty: 

No student shall cheat, plagiarize, or facilitate academic dishonesty by another student.  Students are responsible for completing all kinds of assigned academic work without unauthorized aid of any kind.

The imposition of regular disciplinary penalties does not preclude an academic penalty imposed by an instructor.  If a failing grade in a course is given for academic dishonesty, the Coordinator of Student Conduct will be notified in writing by the instructor or academic dean. ( Saginaw Valley State University Code of Student Conduct , 2002-2003, 1.8)

Forms of plagiarism

  • directly transcribing (copying) without quotation and attribution
  • summarizing without attribution
  • paraphrasing or patchwork paraphrasing without attribution
  • patching electronic materials (including pictures, graphs, and/or charts) without attribution

Guidelines for Students

  • Read assigned material that defines and illustrates both direct and inadvertent plagiarism and actively participate in class instruction about plagiarism.  Ask for examples and illustrations.
  • Ask questions throughout your research and drafting processes; instructors are eager to help you responsibly use and cite research materials.
  • Be sure you clearly understand the consequences of plagiarism as stated above.
  • Take careful notes as you research, being sure to distinguish which materials you are paraphrasing or summarizing and which you are transcribing directly. 
  • Keep copies of all materials used for your research and be prepared to submit them with the drafts of your papers.
  • Within the parameters of assignments, choose topics in which you are vitally interested and in which you have a personal stake.
  • Allow yourself adequate time to research topics in depth.
  • When in doubt about the correct use of resources, confer with your teacher.
  • Avoid plagiarism by following seven important rules.
  1. Provide clear attribution of outside sources with parenthetical citations, lead-in or signal phrase, or a combination of both.
  2. Follow all quotations, paraphrases, and summaries of outside sources with appropriate and complete parenthetical citations.
  3. Provide documentation for all visual images, charts, and graphs from printed or electronic sources.
  4. Identify all words, phrases, and passages taken from sources by enclosing them within quotation marks or by using block quote format for long quotations.
  5. Use your own words and sentence structure when you paraphrase or summarize.
  6. Be sure that all summaries and paraphrases of your sources are accurate and objective.
  7. Include all of the sources cited in your paper in the MLA Works Cited page or the APA Reference list that follows the body of your paper (Adapted from "Avoiding Plagiarism,"   What Is Plagiarism?   2002 ).

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