Academic Integrity at Dickinson College

Information on Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and the Academic Integrity Tutorial at Dickinson College

All first-year students and other students new to Dickinson College are required to complete the Academic Integrity tutorial on Moodle. Students who do not complete this instruction by the deadline will have a hold placed on their accounts that prevents them from requesting courses during the course registration period in October.

To fulfill this requirement, students should:

  • logon to Moodle through Gateway
  • select the course entitled “Academic Integrity Tutorial”
  • read the directions and click on the link entitled, “Join the Conversation: Work Honestly and Use Information Responsibly” to begin the tutorial

Students receive credit only after completing the entire tutorial, answering all questions, and clicking the “Submit” button. Please direct questions about the Academic Integrity tutorial to library@dickinson.edu.

Part of the privilege of attending Dickinson College includes the responsibility of adhering to community standards and guidelines for student conduct, which include standards for academic conduct and integrity. Students are asked to show respect for ideas, both for their own and for others. In practical terms, this means that cheating and plagiarizing the work of others is prohibited and that anyone who is accused of such may be penalized with a failing grade for the assignment in question, an F for the course, suspension, expulsion, or other consequences. Dickinson also prohibits the re-use of papers for a course that were previously used for another course without permission of both professors. Similarly students are not permitted to write one paper and turn it in for two courses taken concurrently without permission from both professors. The full policy is available here.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as your own or using the work of others without giving proper credit. Ignorance or accidental plagiarism is not a valid excuse. There are several forms of plagiarism:

  • Copying the complete work of others. This can include taking whole papers from someone else and presenting their work as your own or purchasing papers from another source to turn in as your own work.
  • Using quotes without giving proper credit. This is evident when part of a text is taken and used in a work without designating it properly as so within the text with quotation marks or indentation and with a citation.

    Original Source:

    Many of the pilgrims reported that Mary Magdalene healed relationships considered immoral in the society where this took place. Roger referred to these relationships as forbidden; these liaisons had been experienced by pilgrims themselves or by members of the pilgrim’s immediate and wider family.1

    When you quote an author directly you should use quotation marks and cite the source as in the example below.

    Research Paper:

    The author examines how the role of Mary Magdalene affected those on pilgrimage. “Many of the pilgrims reported that Mary Magdalene healed relationships considered immoral in the society where this took place. Roger referred to these relationships as forbidden; these liaisons had been experienced by pilgrims themselves or by members of the pilgrim’s immediate and wider family” (Fedele 198).2
  • Paraphrasing, or summarizing the work of others without giving proper credit. This includes restating work of others in your own words but failing to properly cite it with an in-text citation or footnote and/or failing to list the work in a works cited or bibliography.
  • Failure to cite when restating the words and phrases of others. When summarizing or paraphrasing the work of others one must properly rephrase the ideas, AND cite the original source. A summary should condense information, while paraphrasing should restate the information in your own words.

    Original Source:

    Women dominate nearly every aspect of grassroots animal protection. They make up 85% of the membership of the two largest mainstream animal protectionist organizations in the United States, the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States.3

    When you summarize or paraphrase the writing or work of someone else you must state it in your own words and cite it properly as in the example below.

    Research Paper:

    In the United States, the majority of members of grassroots organizations that protect animals are female (Herzog 136).4
  • Patch Writing. Cutting and pasting phrases from multiple authors is considered to be a type of plagiarism. You should avoid stringing together quotes from others in your writing. Instead restate the words of others (with proper citation) and use quotes to emphasize specific points that would lessen in effectiveness when restated.
  • Incomplete citations or footnotes. You must provide each source’s complete information as defined by the citation style required for your subject or class. Any time there is a citation in the text whether it is an in-text citation, footnote, or endnote, your reader should be able to find that citation in the bibliography or works cited page at the end of your work.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Make sure to attribute the work of others beyond what can be considered fact or common knowledge. Common knowledge is considered to be something your reader may already know or could easily look up on their own, but when in doubt don’t assume your reader will know what you are talking about.
  • Cite all source types! Include internet sources, class notes, handouts used in class if you have used the words or ideas.
  • When using the exact words or phrases of the original author(s) place quotation marks around the phrase and cite it properly with an in-text note or footnote.
  • Summarize or paraphrase the ideas of others in your own words and properly cite the original source according to the style specified by your professor. This may change from major to major and even among professors who teach the same subject.
  • Follow the citation style requested by your professor and use a style manual or reputable website to correctly format footnotes, in-text notes, citations, bibliographies, and works cited pages. Click here for resources.
  • Avoid “patch writing,” cutting and pasting words and phrases together in your writing. You should be restating the information in your own words whether you are summarizing or paraphrasing the work of others.
  • ASK! Dickinson college librarians are an excellent resource on how to avoid plagiarism. Ask a Librarian.

Plagiarism has consequences in academia and outside walls of Dickinson College.

Plagiarism at Harvard.

In 2012, 279 students enrolled in a single course at Harvard were accused of plagiarizing or improperly collaborating on the final take home exam. Students were instructed to not discuss the exam among themselves, but the similarities in answers on multiple exams led the professor to bring the case for review by the administrative board.5

Citation Style is confusing for a future VP.

In 1987, Vice President Joseph Biden was accused of plagiarizing work while a law student at Syracuse University, specifically not citing sources correctly.6 While he was later cleared of these allegations, the controversy they caused forced him to drop out of the 1988 presidential campaign.7

Doris Kearns Goodwin improperly cites the work of others.

Noted presidential historian and scholar Doris Kearns Goodwin was accused of plagiarizing work of author Lynne McTaggart in her book The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys. When she examined parts of the text, Goodwin discovered she had lifted sections written by Taggart and revised her text in subsequent editions to credit Taggart properly. When taking notes Goodwin has mistakenly copied sections of Taggart’s writing and confused it for her own, which highlight why proper notetaking is important during the research process.8

Our Academic Integrity Tutorial

In order to help students understand the forms that plagiarism can take and how to avoid it, librarians at Dickinson have developed an online tutorial that all first-year and transfer students are required to complete. The tutorial is administered through Moodle. Students who do not complete it by a specific date are blocked from registering for courses.

This tutorial is designed to assist you in your college career while you attend Dickinson. The skills and policies presented in this tutorial will aid you in your ability to effectively complete assignments from your various courses.

All together the tutorial provides instruction into Dickinson’s policies on academic integrity, plagiarism and how to avoid it and then asks students to identify what is and what is not considered plagiarism through concrete examples. Because multiple styles of citation are used at Dickinson, this tutorial does not teach how to write citations or footnotes, but shows students how to properly use and cite the work of others in their writing, as well as stresses the importance of the role of academic discourse in scholarly writing.

1 Anna Fedele, Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 198.

2 Quote is cited using MLA Style.

3 Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals, (New York: Harper Collins, 2010), 136.

4 Summary is cited in MLA Style.

5 Rebecca D. Robbins, “Harvard Investigates "Unprecedented" Academic Dishonesty Case,” The Harvard Crimson, August 30, 2012, http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/8/30/academic-dishonesty-ad-board/.

6 E. J. Dionne Jr., “Biden Admits Plagiarism in School But Says It Was Not 'Malevolent',” New York Times, Sept. 18, 1987, http://www.nytimes.com/.

7 “Professional Board Clears Biden in Two Allegations of Plagiarism,” New York Times, May 29, 1989, http://www.nytimes.com/.

8 Doris Kearns Goodwin, “How I Caused That Story,” Time, Jan. 27, 2002, http://www.time.com/.
“Professional Board Clears Biden in Two Allegations of Plagiarism.” New York Times, May 29, 1989. http://www.nytimes.com/.
Robbins, Rebecca D. “Harvard Investigates "Unprecedented" Academic Dishonesty Case.” The Harvard Crimson, August 30, 2012. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/8/30/academicdishonesty-ad-board/.


Note: When referencing the work of others throughout Chicago style has been used.

Bibliography

“Academic Integrity Tutorial - "I Thought I Could Get Away with It..." AD - AIT-2012. Dickinson College Moodle. Accessed December 17, 2012. http://lms.dickinson.edu.

Dionne, E. J., Jr. “Biden Admits Plagiarism in School But Says It Was Not 'Malevolent'.” New York Times, Sept. 18, 1987. http://www.nytimes.com /.

Fedele, Anna. Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. “How I Caused That Story.” Time, Jan. 27, 2002. http://www.time.com/.

Herzog, Hal. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals. New York: Harper Collins, 2010.