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The following tutorial was adapted from Robert A. Harris's book The Plagiarism Handbook : Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism, Los Angeles, CA : Pyrczak Publishing, 2001:
Plagiarism is a serious academic offense!
The University of Southern Mississippi's undergraduate and graduate bulletins both include statements about plagiarism:
"When cheating is discovered, the faculty member may give the student an F on the work involved or in the course. If further disciplinary action is deemed appropriate, the undergraduate student should be reported to the Dean of Students. A graduate student should be reported to the Dean of the Graduate School."
"In addition to being a violation of academic honesty, cheating violates the code of student conduct and may be grounds for probation, suspension, expulsion, or all three." (Graduate Bulletin, 2012-2013)
When a student avoids plagiarizing someone else's work, she or he doesn't just avoid doing something wrong. By correctly citing other people's works and ideas, a student has also agreed to engage in the kind of scholarly communication that is part of academic life. Citing another person's words is a way of giving credit to that person, and of acknowledging the importance of that person's work to one's own ideas. After all, you wouldn't want someone quoting your words or using your ideas without giving you credit, would you?