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Identifying Plagiarism: Plagiarism Defined

Plagiarism Defined

Plagiarism Defined

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Plagiarism is one of the issues of academic integrity covered in the UNC Honor Code.

The UNC Instrument of Student Judicial Governance defines plagiarism as the:

Deliberate or reckless representation of another’s words, thoughts, or ideas as one’s own without attribution in connection with submission of academic work, whether graded or otherwise. (5)

 
Category Description Usual Sanction
Minimal The student committed academic dishonesty despite a clear intent and effort to produce honest work. Instructor’s recommended grade sanction, a written letter of warning, and an educational assignment or written apology.
Reckless and/or Minor The student committed academic dishonesty whereby he or she did not desire to violate standards of academic honesty but foresaw or should have foreseen the risk of doing so and did not take requisite precautions to prevent it.

AND/OR

The student committed academic dishonesty that did not have the potential to (a) give a substantial undue advantage over other students or (b) allow him or her to subvert a substantial amount of academic work.
Instructor’s recommended grade sanction and one semester of disciplinary probation.
Reckless and/or Substantial The student consciously acted in a way that he or she knew or should have known constituted a violation of the Honor Code.

AND

The student committed academic dishonesty that had the potential to (a) give a substantial undue advantage over other students or (b) allow him or her to subvert a substantial amount of academic work.
Instructor’s recommended grade sanction and one semester of disciplinary suspension.

Implication: Though deliberate plagiarism is punished more harshly, intentionality is not necessarily a criterion for committing plagiarism. Whether you intend to plagiarize or not, if you use someone else’s work without acknowledging this through an appropriate citation, you are essentially stealing their work, breaking the UNC Honor Code, and violating the principles of academic integrity.