Because of the Internet, information is at the tip of your fingers. With so many accessible sources, students may not be aware that they are using information without the proper attribution.
Plagiarism, according to Peirce College Library, is “the practice of taking someone else’s work or idea and passing them off as one’s own.”
Chair of the Professional Ethics Committee Cara Gillis said there is a process that instructors should follow to report a student who has been caught plagiarizing.
“If a student plagiarizes, you can file a report with him. You can give a student an F only for that assignment. You can file the report with him, and he goes over the case with the student,” Gillis said.
The case is then handed over to the dean, who is in not allowed to alter an instructor’s choice on a grade, Gillis said.
“No dean can ever force, as far as I know, a professor to change a grade”, Gillis said.
Gillis said reporting the situation to the dean is in the hands of the instructor.
“That’s up to the professor. Professors can decide for themselves, or they can send the student to the dean, and then the dean addresses the issues,” Gillis said.
If a student received a grade preventing that prevents them from passing the course, Gillis said, “A student always has a right to grieve their grade, and appeal their grade.”
Upon receiving a non-passing grade, a student has a set of rights and procedures that they can follow, Gillis said.
“If you fail some assignment of mine, and you end up with a D in the class, you are allowed to go into the formal grievance process and challenge that grade in front of a panel of three people,” Gillis said.
At the beginning of the semester, your instructor may hand you a syllabus, which includes guidelines about plagiarism and its consequences.
According to the Student Academic Integrity Policy Statement, there are specific rules that instructors are encouraged to let students know about and do themselves.
Instructors are pushed to create a space for honesty, according to the policy.
“Instructors should make every attempt to conduct their classroom in a manner which encourages honorable behavior and learning, to ensure student success and discourage academic dishonesty,” the policy states.
Students are supposed to be told their rights and requirements, according the statement.
“Inform students of the course requirements, grading procedures and expectations of responsible academic conduct. Inform students of the College policy on Academic Integrity and the potential consequences for violations of this policy. Inform students of their right to due process should they wish to contest the cheating allegation,” the statement states.
Some instructors may go to the great lengths to make sure students are not plagiarizing work.
Political science instructor Denise Robb said, to make sure her students are being honest, she “runs their papers through a particular software to check if they are plagiarizing.”