Plagiarism involves taking someone else’s ideas, words, images, etc. and passing them off as your own. If it’s not something you created or thought of on your own, you need to credit the person who originally developed the material or idea.
Downloading a research paper from the internet and handing it in as your own or copying and pasting sections from other works into your own are blatant examples of intentional plagiarism, but many problems occur through other forms of plagiarism (some unintentional), including:
Plagiarism is considered unethical, but many people fail to realize the full repercussion of this type of academic dishonesty.
Along with cheating, fabricating data, and inappropriate collaboration, plagiarism is included as a type of violation of academic integrity as discussed in the Waldorf College Student Handbook. Students involved in academic dishonesty may:
Actual consequences depend on the severity of the violation and the student’s prior history of academic dishonesty. Violations will be reported to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and will become a permanent part of the student’s academic file.
Click here to view the student handbook .
SafeAssign is a program through Blackboard that checks student papers against others' work and provides a report with information on what percentage of your work matches another, and potential sources of the matching text. It is commonly used in Waldorf online courses to detect plagiarism.
For more information on how SafeAssign works, visit the student section of the SafeAssign Wiki.
Both traditional multi-page research papers and shorter assignments require you to document information that is not your own. If you include others' opinions and reflections, prior research, relatively unknown facts and statistics, images, lyrics, etc., you need to provide citation information in your work. In terms of deciding if something needs to be cited, it makes no difference if it is freely available online or found in your textbook. Free does not mean that citations are unnecessary.
The only time a citation is not needed is when you use commonly known information. For example, you would not need to provide a citation for facts such as the year the Civl War began, or the chemical makeup of water. Determining if something is commonly known can be complicated and may depend on your field of study. If you are questioning whether or not something needs to be cited, consult your professor, or other student service areas such as the Writing Center or the library.