The most common form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. An essay or term paper is designed to develop a student’s own ability to think clearly and critically about a subject and to express ideas fluently. Similarly, a laboratory report is designed to develop a student’s capacity to record observed phenomena and to interpret them correctly. A creative work in the arts is intended to demonstrate the student’s own creative abilities. If a student confounds these purposes by receiving unacknowledged assistance from an outside source, he or she is guilty of plagiarism. To avoid any suspicion of plagiarism, students should acknowledge any work not their own; in other words, any language, illustration, information, or diagram which is not original must be documented.
Hiram College expects students to develop a thorough understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and to avoid it in all forms of campus communication. When plagiarism occurs in work required for a course, it is particularly serious and becomes a reportable offense. Hiram College’s plagiarism policies are equally binding on both rough and final drafts.
Students must assume that collaboration in completion of assignments is prohibited unless explicitly specified by the instructor. Students must acknowledge any collaboration and its extent in all submitted work. This applies to collaboration on editing as well as collaboration on substance. (This statement is not intended, however, to discourage students from forming study groups.)
There are two categories of plagiarism offenses. Category I includes instances of plagiarism in which there is clear intent to falsify, mislead, or misrepresent another’s work as one’s own. An obvious example would be an attempt to hide the source of plagiarized material by not even including it in the paper’s bibliography. Category II includes instances in which there is not clear intent. Instead, there is evidence that the student made a simple mistake in citation, or did not fully understand what constitutes plagiarism. The process for dealing with cases of plagiarism is intended to facilitate the development of the student as a scholar who practices academic honesty. First offenses involve a penalty left to the discretion of the instructor and the Associate Dean. Students are expected to learn from these mistakes and, therefore, there is less tolerance for subsequent offenses.
Cases of plagiarism are handled in the following ways:
- The course instructor judges whether the offense is Category I or II.
- All cases of plagiarism are reported to the Associate Dean of the College who will maintain a database of plagiarism cases.
- Starting Fall 2018, all students who commit plagiarism will be required to complete a free, online tutorial that will give them additional practice on this important topic. After completing the tutorial successfully, students will be issued an electronic certificate that will become part of their academic record maintained by the Associate Dean's office.
- For first-offense, Category II cases involving an underclass (not a senior) student, the course instructor has the option of allowing a makeup of the paper or assignment, coupled with a penalty. These cases do not require a conference with the Associate Dean and the student.
All other cases require a conference with the Associate Dean.
- Category I cases, even if first offense, may result in an F in the course.
- A pattern of Category II offenses, or any second offense, will usually result in a suspension from the College.
- Records of plagiarism are kept by the Associate Dean. The student’s advisor is informed of the results of plagiarism cases.
- Appeals of plagiarism case decisions may be made to the Dean of the College.