What is academic dishonesty?
The College defines academic dishonesty as intentional or
inadvertent misrepresentation in the use of ideas by members of the
academic community. There are three principle forms of academic
dishonesty: cheating, inappropriate collaboration, and plagiarism.
- Cheating involves
misrepresenting one's knowledge or experience. For example, if
students use unauthorized materials during an examination (e.g.
using crib sheets, looking at other students' exams, obtaining the
questions in advance, etc.) they are falsely representing themselves
as having recalled material or reasoned correctly, when, in fact,
they did not do so. If students fake the data in a laboratory
experiment, they are falsely suggesting that they acquired
information in accordance with prescribed procedures.
- Inappropriate collaboration
involves presenting academic work as one's own independent effort
when it includes significantly the work of others. It is common and
usually acceptable for students to study together for examinations.
Students and faculty alike frequently discuss with friends and
colleagues ideas they are developing for papers and presentations --
in order to gain encouragement and critical advice. Asking a friend
to proofread a paper is a legitimate request. However, when
important ideas or actual phrasings in an academic work belong to an
unnamed colleague, misrepresentation has occurred. It is dishonest
for one student to write some or all of another student's paper or
presentation. It is equally wrong for one student to develop key
ideas for a project that is represented as the work of another. In
cases of inappropriate collaboration both parties involved are
guilty of academic dishonesty.
- Plagiarism involves both
theft and cheating. When someone appropriates, for use in formal
course work, the wording, phrasing, or ideas of another and either
accidentally or purposefully fails to acknowledge the debt, that is
theft. Plagiarism is also cheating insofar as one is creating a
false impression about one's own intelligence, ability, achievement.
There are times in an
academic community when the nature of our "free exchange of ideas"
seems to preclude clear source attribution and confound our attempts
to acknowledge what words, phrases, and ideas we may have borrowed.
At such times, students should seek help from their teachers, refer
to appropriate handbooks, but especially test the instance against
the provisions of the broad definition, "Am I stealing from
another?" Does my use of words, phrases, or ideas create a false
impression about the source of my information and about my ability
Avoiding Plagiarism – Proper
Citing of Sources
In borrowing from sources
(books, articles, films, television, interviews, etc.), avoiding
plagiarism is generally a matter of following three rules:
1. Keep a good (neat and
tidy) record of the "exchange of ideas," taking place in the work
you are doing. Most often this means taking good notes.
2. Clearly demarcate the
beginnings and endings of your borrowed material, whether it appears
as a quote, paraphrase, or summary. Most often, this means
introducing your source in some way, and clearly indicating (through
closure of quotation marks, parenthetical references,
footnote/endnote numbers, etc.), that you are through using that
source. No matter how tiresome it may seem, you have the
responsibility to note each time you borrow words, phrases, or
3. There are several
acceptable forms for citations but all citations should: a) provide
sufficient information to enable readers to locate the original
source of the borrowed material, and b) include enough information
about the source so that an informed reader can begin to evaluate
the validity of that source in your work (author, publication, date
of publication, etc.).
What are the penalties for
academic dishonesty at Monmouth College?
Academic dishonesty undermines
the trust necessary to pursue our educational goals; it damages the
reputation of the college and the worth of a Monmouth degree. While an
assessment of the student's motive may influence the choice of
punishment for acts of dishonesty, the claim that the act was
unintentional does not excuse dishonesty. Monmouth students are
expected to know how to avoid acts of dishonesty. When in doubt, ask a
faculty member, include a citation, or avoid collaboration.
The rules of the Faculty of
Monmouth College state that when a student has committed an act of
academic dishonesty for the first time, the penalty for that act will
be determined by the faculty member involved. You should be aware that
many faculty members consider automatic failure in the course
to be the normal punishment for first offenses involving academic
dishonesty. In situations that do not involve a particular course
(e.g. plagiarism in a student publication) the Academic Dean will
usually act on behalf of the college. All offenses of academic
dishonesty must be reported to the Academic Dean who keeps such
descriptions of incidents on file until the student leaves the
If a student commits a second
act of academic dishonesty during his or her career at Monmouth, the
Academic Dean will refer the case of such a student to the Admissions
and Academic Status Committee. For a second offense, suspension
from the College is a likely minimum penalty and expulsion from the
college is a possibility.
Source: modified from “Academic
Dishonesty” on the Monmouth College Introduction to Liberal Arts
webpage, Fall 2006