Cheating and Plagiarism

Compiled by Bob Young


The Battle

"My belief is that ten to 20 percent of students will cheat whenever they feel they can get away with it," says Rutgers University professor Donald McCabe, "and ten to 20 percent will never cheat because of strong convictions or fear of getting caught. The battle is for the 60 to 80 percent in the middle."

In research at 31 schools, McCabe found that 15 percent of university students admitted that they were "serious, repetitive cheaters."

--Reader's Digest, May 2000, p. 110-113

Many schools, colleges, and universities publish guidelines for academic integrity. Christian colleges especially seek to support and promote academic honesty and personal integrity. Bible programs, in preparing students for kingdom service, should demand the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and morality. Academic dishonesty in any form is considered a serious offense. Knowingly assisting another student in dishonest behavior is equally serious.

Academic Dishonesty
Several definitions, descriptions, and examples of academic dishonesty, cheating, or plagiarism appear on the linked pages below. In general, academic dishonesty may be defined as deceiving others about one's own work or the work of another.

Dr. Bruce Terry, Ohio Valley College, defines plagiarism as follows in his on-line syllabi: "Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not . Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism."
Plagiarism is a serious offense. In the real world, it is a serious crime. The maximum penalty in the academic arena is generally expulsion from a college or university.
Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with a professor or reliable guide. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own. Be certain that you clearly understand the intention of the professor with regard to group work and group assignments.

From the Center for the Study of Teaching and Writing at Ohio State University: "Plagiarism is presenting another person's words or ideas as your own work. While the most blatant violation is the unacknowledged use of another individual's work, the most common is the unintentional misuse of your reference sources."

Links to Related Websites Lest the student think such concerns are limited to this professor, links to other sites which address these subjects are provided here. These sites provide additional insights into various aspects of cheating and plagiarism.

Policy Examples

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Last updated August 21, 2013