Plagiarism & Copyright Policy



December 12, 2011


July 21, 2014

By: Kiel Christianson, Evangeline Pianfetti, Elizabeth Stine-Morrow, Jennifer Greene, & Karla Möller

Plagiarism definition

The definition of plagiarism is straightforward: Presenting someone else’s words, materials, manner of expression, or ideas as your own. This means that even if another person agrees to let you present his or her content as if it were yours, it is still plagiarism. Plagiarism does not require intent: it can be intentional or unintentional.

How to avoid plagiarizing

The surest way to avoid plagiarism is also straightforward: Attribute ideas, facts, data, wordings, quotes, materials, observations, and any other material taken from other sources to their rightful progenitors as appropriate. This means, direct quotations can only be used in concert with author name, publication information, and page number(s), and the quoted passage must be enclosed in quotation marks. APA-formatted citations, and references in a separate reference section, must be used to document sources and material. You may not simply rearrange a couple of sentences from another source or substitute a few words and call the resulting text “yours.” Unless you are significantly paraphrasing into your own words, material should be directly quoted and properly cited as noted above. Additionally, paraphrased content that reproduces another author’s ideas—even when it is significantly rearticulated in your own words so as not to require quotation marks—must, nevertheless, be cited, including author name and publication information. This holds for material obtained from the Internet, too.

When in doubt about whether the way you are presenting the work of others constitutes plagiarism, it is best to ask your advisor or professor before you submit a paper, project, homework, or test. You are encouraged to read more about plagiarism here:

Penalties for plagiarism

There will be consequences, including grades of “F” for an assignment, test, or entire course. Repeat offences and/or evidence of deliberate plagiarism may result in expulsion from the University. The Department and all instructors in it will follow the University student code of conduct, found here:

Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright law is arguably less straightforward, but violations of copyright are no less serious. Penalties for violating copyright may include fines or other legal action, along with University disciplinary action. It is important to read and understand regulations pertaining to copyrighted materials and their “fair use” in educational settings. 

Understanding Fair Use and Copyright in the Digital Age

For more information and with questions, graduate student teaching assistants may direct questions regarding copyright and fair use to their respective departmental Associate Head for Graduate Programs: Dr. Kiel Christianson (EPSY) or Dr. Karla J. Möller (CI).

Independent Scholarship

The integrity of academic scholarship rests to a considerable extent on authors’ honesty and credibility. Scholars are bound to report fully on the methods of their work, including important limitations. Scholars are bound by academic (and personal) ethics not to claim work (whether direct text or ideas) of others as their own.

Created: December 12, 2011   Revised: July 21, 2014