Forms such as this one may be attached to a course syllabus or have a signature line requiring students to sign, acknowledging their awareness of plagiarism standards. Printable Copy
Plagiarism is the use of the words or ideas of other people without giving appropriate credit. Only information that is widely available from a variety of sources, otherwise known as common knowledge, can be used without giving credit. Examples of common knowledge include historical items such as “George Washington was the first President of the United States,” geographic data such as “Canada is located on the continent of North America,” a commonly known fact such as, “The US is bordered by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,” or a fact that everyone in the profession knows, such as “A CPA is a certified professional accountant.”
If you use the words or ideas of other people without giving appropriate credit, plagiarism has occurred REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU INTENDED TO PLAGIARIZE. “Cutting and pasting”, even if you change a few words, requires that the information be placed in quotation marks and the appropriate citation placed next to the information. Paraphrasing requires that you use ENTIRELY your own words, not just changing a few words. Paraphrases still require a citation.
It is YOUR responsibility to become familiar with what constitutes plagiarism, how to use and cite appropriate paraphrases, how to recognize inappropriate paraphrases, how to do appropriate primary and secondary citations—in other words, all the things necessary to avoid committing plagiarism and how to use appropriate citations. There are a variety of citation styles available (e.g. Chicago, Turabian, MLA, and AMA) however, in social work APA is the accepted style.
Numerous Internet sources provide information on what constitutes plagiarism and how to recognize and avoid plagiarism. For example, several sites indicate that one of the most important steps in avoiding plagiarism is to have a thorough understanding of the material. Some additional web sites that contain information on avoiding plagiarism and/or samples of inappropriate paraphrasing and appropriate paraphrasing and citation are:
One final note—Just because something is “in the public domain” does not mean that it can be submitted without appropriate citation.
The penalty for plagiarism (and other dishonest behavior such as cheating on examinations) will include an automatic failing grade for the assignment, the possibility of failure for the course, and an automatic referral to the appropriate University academic disciplinary office. Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to become familiar with the actions you must take to avoid violations of the EWU Academic Integrity Policy, regardless of whether a type of violation has or has not been covered in this handout.
 These syllabi are fictional, created for the purpose of this online workshop. Any resemblance or similarities to actual syllabi are purely coincidental.