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Study Aids - Plagiarism and Academic Conduct (Plagiarism pdf)

This guide and the linked pages explain the standards of conduct and study expected of students in Prof. Berkhofer's classes.

Classroom Conduct: In general, students are expected to behave in class in a manner which shows respect to all members of the class, not just the instructor. A certain level of politeness is just as necessary as curiosity in the learning process. Open-mindedness is also important, since it facilitates learning effectively. During class discussion, students will be expected to have more than just their opinion: they will be expected to be able to make an argument, using evidence and logic to support their viewpoint. These principles do not substitute for knowing the Western Michigan University standards of Academic Conduct.

The links below are to help students understand issues of academic dishonesty and the problem of plagiarism in particular. To be absolutely clear: academic dishonesty and cheating in any form will not be tolerated in Prof. Berkhofer's classes. Please read the information below carefully.

WMU Academic Policy | Plagiarism and Cheating Defined | Paper Submission Policy
Citing Sources | AHA Materials on Plagiarism (at www.historians.org)

WMU Academic Policy: Students are expected to uphold the Western Michigan University standards of Academic Conduct. You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs that pertain to Academic Honesty. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. [The policies can be found at http://catalog.wmich.edu under Academic Policies, Student Rights and Responsibilities.] If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct (osc.wmich.edu). You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with your instructor if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.

Plagiarism and Cheating defined: Here are some basic definitions of plagiarism and cheating. These definitions are for your information only—they do not substitute for knowing the WMU Student Academic Conduct code, found in the Catalogue. Know your rights and responsibilities!

Plagiarism—To represent written work taken from another source as one's own is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense. The academic work of a student must be his/her own. One must give any author credit for source material borrowed from him/her. To lift content directly from a source without giving credit is a flagrant act. To present a borrowed passage without reference to the source after having changed a few words is also plagiarism.

Cheating—No student shall receive or give assistance not authorized by the instructor in taking an examination or in the preparation of a paper or other assignment which is submitted for purposes of grade determination.

Students who wish to avoid plagiarism should read the related study aid on Citing Sources. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to use a system of notes and bibliography consistently in your papers that give credit to others for their ideas and which refer explicitly to the sources and works used in constructing the paper.

Paper Submission Policy: Even after written assignments are submitted, students are required to maintain an electronic copy and must produce it if asked Prof. Berkhofer. Student drafts and final papers may be submitted electronically to turnitin.com or other anti-plagiarism clearinghouses.


Robert F. Berkhofer
Dept. of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334

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Last Revised:
December 16, 2011