Plagiarism is a very serious problem in U.S. schools and colleges.  It is our intent with this brief paper to make certain that all students and their parents understand what plagiarism is, and that the consequences for plagiarizing are very serious.


  Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of another’s work as one’s own.  “Another’s work” includes everything from published books and other media to a sibling’s or friend’s assignments.  In short, the ideas, vocabulary, sentence structure, and overall organization of a paper, project or assignment must be the student’s own.  Plagiarizing any part of an assignment will result in complete loss of credit for the assignment.  Depending upon the extent of the plagiarism, students may be failed for an trimester.  There will be no option to rewrite a plagiarized assignment or to substitute extra credit work for it.  Plagiarism includes:

  Copying titles, unfamiliar vocabulary, phrases, sentences, paragraphs or graphics from any source without enclosing them in quotation marks and, immediately after, crediting that source;

  Close paraphrasing of any source by: 1) switching the order of, substituting, or changing a few words in a phrase or sentence without crediting that source directly after the paraphrase; and/or 2) changing a few words or sentences in a paragraph from any source, without crediting that source directly after the paraphrase; and/or 3) changing the order of paragraphs from any source.

  Presenting unique ideas as your own for example, putting completely in your own wording unique ideas that are not common knowledge, without crediting that source directly after presenting the unique idea.  Common knowledge is defined as information and ideas that could be found in more than one source.


Avoiding plagiarism is not difficult if you want to avoid it.  If you are not sure whether you are plagiarizing something or not, list the source from which you obtained the information in parentheses right after the questionable section.  Be sure to include this source and its complete bibliographic information in a Works Cited, List of Sources, or Bibliography attached to the end of the paper or project.  Students must keep all research notes and drafts of their assignments until the final graded assignment is returned to them.  Students must be able to turn in to their teacher all of their notes and sources for an assignment if a teacher questions the source of a student’s words or ideas.


I have read the information above on plagiarism and I understand it.  I understand that if a student plagiarizes any part of a paper, project or assignment s/he will receive no credit (a zero) for the entire project.