Scholastic dishonesty and plagiarism are briefly defined in the "Student Code of Conduct" in the CCCCD Student Handbook.    Below is a Statement of College policy related to Scholastic Dishonesty based on revisions to the Student Handbook approved by CCCCD's Board of Trustees, November 2004:


The College may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of scholastic


Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts, or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree and/or the submission as one's own work material that is not one's own. Scholastic dishonesty may involve, but is not limited to, one or more of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion, use of annotated texts or teacherís editions, and/or falsifying academic records.

Plagiarism is the use of an author's words or ideas as if they were one's own without giving credit to the source, including, but not limited to, failure to acknowledge a direct quotation.

Cheating is the willful giving or receiving of information in an unauthorized manner during an examination, illicitly obtaining examination questions in advance, copying computer or Internet files, using someone else's work for assignments as if it were one's own, or any other dishonest means of attempting to fulfill the requirements of a course.

Collusion is intentionally aiding or attempting to aid another in an act of scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to providing a paper or project to another student, providing an inappropriate level of assistance; communicating answers to a classmate during an examination; removing tests or answer sheets from a test site, and allowing a classmate to copy answers.

Every student should read that information, but the CCCCD English faculty would like for you to know more about plagiarism whether you are beginning the study of the research process and the pitfalls of proper documentation or whether you are preparing a critical essay for a literary studies course.


Plagiarism has disrupted and destroyed political careers as recently as the 1988 presidential election.  It has cost professional writers thousands and, in some cases, millions of dollars in court awards or settlements resulting from lengthy lawsuits.  In some businesses, plagiarism can result in a loss of respect or can be the grounds for dismissal.  In college courses, plagiarism's penalties can range from failure on a particular assignment to failure in a course to expulsion from college.  PLAGIARISM IS A SERIOUS MORAL OFFENSE.


According to the MLA Style Manual, the origin of the word plagiarism is the Latin for "kidnapper"; thus, a plagiarist kidnaps another writer's sentences, words, ideas, or organization and presents the material as his own.  When the plagiarist uses his stolen material, he may do so knowing that the work is not his own.  This is the most blatant form of plagiarism.  MANY CASES OF PLAGIARISM, HOWEVER, ARE THE RESULT OF CARELESS DOCUMENTATION OR FAULTY NOTETAKING.  Unfortunately, the reader who finds the error, not knowing the writer's intent, can only assume the plagiarism is intentional.  Intentional or not, plagiarism in any paper will still carry serious penalties.


You can avoid plagiarizing if you remember that when you quote, use quotation marks; when you paraphrase, use only your own words.  IN EITHER CASE, YOU MUST DOCUMENT.  Proper paraphrasing does not mean changing a few words here and there, nor does it mean omitting a few sentences or scrambling their order.  For a more complete explanation of proper paraphrasing, see your textbook.


Many students overreact when they learn what plagiarism means.  They either assume that they should not use any sources (thus avoiding the problem entirely), or they assume they should document every word they have written.  Both reactions are in error, for good writing involves the synthesis of your own ideas with the ideas of others.  Documentation serves the purpose of clearly indicating which ideas are yours and which are those of other writers.  If you are in doubt about that dividing line, ask your instructor or the Writing Center tutors for guidance.



Plagiarism, because it is a form of theft, burglary, kidnapping, or dishonesty that interferes with the goals of education, must carry severe penalties.  The CCCCD English Department's policy is that an assignment containing plagiarized material receives an automatic "F."   An instructor may have other penalties in the course syllabus and may choose to initiate disciplinary proceedings against any student guilty of plagiarism. 


Instructors are advised to report cases of plagiarism, collusion, and/or any scholastic dishonesty  to the Dean of Students Barbara Money.





I have read the above brief explanations of plagiarism, collusion, and other forms of scholastic dishonesty.  I understand what it is and am aware of the consequences if I should be guilty either intentionally or unintentionally.


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