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Tami Fleming

Issues: Plagiarism

FRIT 7330

July 6, 2012

Source: North Penn High School. (2011). Plagiarism policy. Retrieved from OB=0&c=51525 North Penn High School defines plagiarism in their policy using the Modern Language Association, 3rd edition. In the plagiarism policy, NPHS states that there is a consistent education, definition and procedure for plagiarism across all grade levels in the district. When plagiarism is suspected, the protocol at the high school level begins with the teacher meeting with the department head or librarian. If all parties agree that the incident warrants further investigation, the teacher meets with the assistant principal, then the assistant principal meets with the student and possibly the parents. If the student admits to plagiarizing, the assistant principal assigns punishment. If the student does not admit to plagiarizing, the incident is taken to the principal, who determines the course of action. Once the principal has made a decision, the student, parent, or teacher can appeal the decision by contacting the assistant superintendent. For a first offense, students at North Penn receive a zero on the assignment; the second offense is given a zero and possibly suspension. Other offenses are punished with a zero and suspension from school. There are several strengths to North Penns plagiarism policy. The main strength is that instruction on what constitutes plagiarism begins at the elementary level and consistently continues throughout all grade levels. This school districts library curriculum includes instruction on plagiarism as well. Also, there are avenues for the teachers and the family to pursue if they do not agree with the decision of the principal. Plagiarism is clearly defined at the beginning of this policy. This policy also clearly states that due to the weighting of assignments, there is a possibility the student could fail the course. While this policy has strengths, it also has weaknesses. The protocol for investigating plagiarism or suspected plagiarism is lengthy and involved for the teacher and assistant principal. There are several meetings that must take place before a punishment is given, and if the student does not admit to plagiarizing, there are even more meetings. Also, this policy does not clearly explain what type of suspension (in school or out of school) will be given as a punishment. The policy also does not cover consequences after the third incident, nor does it define if the offenses will be carried over throughout the four years of high school.

Source: Cobb County School District. (2011). Cobb virtual academy: Academic dishonesty. Retrieved from

Cobb Virtual Academy has a plagiarism policy that covers several different scenarios. The policy begins by outlining the responsibility of the student participating in an online environment, stating that students must conduct themselves with academic honesty and integrity. The policy outlines several different types of academic dishonesty and defines or provides an example of each (plagiarism, using another persons password/login, cheating, doing work/tests for someone, falsifying data, and computer crimes). The punishment for these types of plagiarism can range from grade loss to ISS to removal from the course or the virtual academy. CVA also explains in this policy that all final exams are given in a face-to-face setting; if results dont closely match those of the previous assignments, the teacher has the right to investigate for plagiarism or academic dishonesty. The teachers also reserve the right to do random oral or faceto-face assignments at any time. Teachers for CVA use plagiarism detection software for all assignments. This policy has several strengths; mainly that it covers different types of plagiarism examples and defines specific scenarios. The consequences are left in an open-ended type of way so that teachers can determine the severity of the infraction and assign an appropriate punishment. Another strength of this policy is that it clearly states that teachers use plagiarism software and that they have the right to use face-to-face exams at any time. This policy is written in such a way that it can cover any new types of plagiarism that may come up with everchanging technology. It is also a strength that this policy covers using another persons login or password to turn in any work or take quizzes. Taking into consideration that this is a virtual school, the weaknesses of this policy are unique. The consequences may not be clear enough for parents and students to feel as if they are completely informed. There is also not a clear procedure for teachers to follow when investigating suspected academic dishonesty.

Source: Terryville High School. (2008). Terryville high school plagiarism policy. Retrieved from

Terryville High School has a plagiarism policy in place that covers differing degrees of plagiarism. This policy begins by stating that it is the responsibility of the teachers to educate students on using information responsibly and ethically. Students are not to turn in any workvisual, written or oral- that is not correctly documented. THS uses a detailed definition of plagiarism that includes using an in-text citation not shown in the works cited page. This policy also outlines that teachers are responsible for providing an assignment sheet, rubric, guidelines and assistance when giving assignments. Students are expected to turn in honest work and use correct MLA format. When plagiarism is suspected, the teacher turns the work over to a committee. The committee will determine the degree of the offense, if any. First degree offenses are punishable by grade reduction and/or makeup work. Second degree offenses are punishable by a grade reduction and/or a letter in the students file; third degree offenses hold the same punishment as second degree, but also include the possibility of a reduction in course grade, parent notification or discipline by the administration. Terryville has a detailed plagiarism policy with several strengths. This policy clearly shows that there are different degrees of academic dishonesty, with different consequences accordingly. This policy also states clearly the responsibilities of the teacher and student. THS uses a definition of plagiarism that covers specific examples, and it is clear to understand. There are several weaknesses of Terryville High Schools plagiarism policy. According to this policy, the parents are not notified of the instance unless it is considered a third-degree offense. The policy is written in such a way that it appears teachers are expected to have assignment sheets and rubrics for every assignment, which doesnt seem entirely realistic. Also, this policy does not explain what qualifies as a first degree offense versus a second or third degree offense. Finally, this policy only states that a committee will determine if a student has plagiarized, which could lend itself to a lengthy process where the teacher involved doesnt have an immediate course of action.

Plagiarism Policy: Written by Tami Fleming for Dalton High School

I. Definition: In a statement on professional ethics, the Modern Language Association defines plagiarism as, Using another persons ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source constitutes plagiarismto give the impression that you wrote or thought something that you in fact borrowed from someone, and to do so is a violation of professional ethicsForms of plagiarism include the failure to give appropriate acknowledgement when repeating anothers wording or particularly apt phrase, paraphrasing anothers argument, and presenting anothers line of thinking. a. Other examples include, but are not limited to: i. Using someone elses DHS id to turn in work ii. Buying a paper on the internet to turn in as your own iii. Using an in-text citation that does not appear in the works cited II. Responsibilities a. The teachers at Dalton High School are responsible for teaching students to become responsible users of information and correctly use MLA format for citations. Teachers should begin each semester by reviewing plagiarism, and begin each assignment by outlining clear expectations of what sources/references, if any, are appropriate for that assignment. If a teacher suspects that a student has plagiarized, he or she should follow the protocol outlined below. b. Students at Dalton High School are expected to maintain academic honesty at all times.* Students should refer to the MLA Handbook for all citations. If a student is unsure of what sources are allowed or how to complete an assignment, he or she should ask the teacher, consult the media specialists, or visit the writing lab. Students should be aware that teachers will use plagiarism detection software. III. Protocol a. If a teacher suspects an assignment has been plagiarized, he or she should first use plagiarism detection software (or even a search engine) to determine if there is proof of plagiarism.

b. Once proof has been obtained, the teacher should confer with the student, flag the assignment for cheating on Infinite Campus, and then take the appropriate actions as outlined below. i. If no proof has been found of plagiarism, but is still suspected, the teacher should review the definition of plagiarism with the student(s) and consult with the media specialists, counselors, and assistant principals. IV. Consequences a. 1st offense: Student will be given a zero for the assignment and parents will be contacted. b. 2nd offense: Student will be given the above consequences, plus 1 day ISS and a parent conference before returning to class. (The teacher and counselor will use the parent conference to explain the severity of plagiarism and future consequences associated with it, if it happens again.) c. 3rd offense: Student will be given all of the above consequences, with 2 days ISS, and a letter will be added to the students academic file. (An administrator will attend the parent conference with the teacher, counselor, student and parents.) d. 4th offense and beyond: Student will receive a failing grade for the course and/or OSS as deemed appropriate by the administrator on the case. Students who are attending DHS through the tuition program may be removed from the program. *Students involved in extracurricular programs such as sports, clubs, and competitive teams should review the DHS Behavior Policy since consequences of plagiarism can include suspension (in-school and out) which will affect extra-curricular participation.

Source: Freccero,C., Hernandez, L.J., Hintz, Su., Padilla, G.M., Parker, A. & Perez-Sanchez, G. (2004). Statement of professional ethics. Retrieved from