Plagiarism is the use of someone else's words or ideas without giving that person credit. It is the cardinal sin of students and scholars. Plagiarism is essentially fraud, since the plagiarist gets the credit for someone else's work. Apart from being morally wrong, plagiarism makes it impossible to evaluate what the plagiarist knows or understands, since he or she is simply passing on someone else's material. Using sections of books, course readings, web pages, prepared lecture notes, or another student's work all constitute plagiarism. If two students turn in work with identical phrases, one or both has plagiarized.

Do not plagiarize. If I detect what I consider to be significant, intentional plagiarism in any written assignment, the assignment will receive zero credit. Severe or repeated plagiarism from any source, including your classmates, is grounds for an "F" in the course. I have failed several students for plagiarism.

It is easy to avoid plagiarizing. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

Exception: You may use information (the ideas, not the wording) from the textbook, assigned course readings, or lectures in this course's assignments without citing the references. This is only acceptable because I am telling you in advance that I will assume the citation for information that I recognize. If you get information from other sources (books, encyclopedias, web pages, etc.), give the source. Otherwise I may not be able to tell whether the information is correct or results from a misunderstanding on your part.

Do not plagiarize. If you have any questions about proper use of information, feel free to ask.