UCF Plagiarism Statement

Statement on Plagiarism Suitable for a Syllabus

Many incidents of plagiarism result from students’ lack of understanding about what constitutes plagiarism. However, you are expected to familiarize yourself with UCF’s policy on plagiarism. All work you submit must be your own scholarly and creative efforts.  UCF’s Golden Rule defines plagiarism as follows: “whereby another’s work is used or appropriated without any indication of the source, thereby attempting to convey the impression that such work is the student’s own.

Draft UCF Expanded Plagiarism Discussion For On-Line

Plagiarism is everyone’s business.  Students who earn their degrees honestly by engaging in the scholarly work that develops the skills and knowledge the UCF degree symbolizes are affected by their peers’ plagiarism and cheating.  Such cheating and plagiarism is unfair to those who work to earn their grades and degrees honestly, and is contrary to the values expressed in the UCF Creed.

Whenever you submit work for academic credit, your instructor should be able to trust that it is the result of your own scholarly and creative efforts.  In most cases it is appropriate to use others’ work to support your academic work.  In fact, the ability to use others’ ideas, expressions, arguments, images, or data to support your work is an important aspect of academic research.

However, whenever you use another’s work to support your own, you must give a full citation that credits the original source. Not giving credit to the original author creates the false impression that work you present for academic credit represents the results of your efforts to master the skills and knowledge that is the purpose of the academic exercise.

You must clearly identify which parts of your work are derived from each source, using in-text citations, footnotes or endnotes. Ending with a list of “works consulted” is not sufficient.  Ask your instructor about appropriate citation style.  See UCF library’s guides to citing sources: http://guides.ucf.edu/citations.

Furthermore, a significant portion of your work must be the result of your own scholarly efforts.  A succession of quotations with a few of your own comments to string them together is unlikely to be considered acceptable scholarship.

UCF’s Golden rule defines plagiarism as the following: “whereby another’s work is used or appropriated without any indication of the source, thereby attempting to convey the impression that such work is the student’s own.” 

Thus you commit plagiarism whenever you use in your academic work any argument, image, expression or other element of another’s work that is not common knowledge and is not clearly credited to its original author.

Common knowledge is difficult to define precisely.  Consider as a rough guideline that you do not necessarily need citations for facts that anyone could reasonably be expected to know. If in doubt, err on the side of being helpful to your reader, though. If it is possible that a classmate who reads your paper finds a statement of yours to be interesting, surprising or otherwise useful, and the reader is interested in investigating further, give them a citation that directs them to your sources.

Self plagiarism also undermines the academic purpose of the exercise of working on course assignments. You plagiarize yourself if you submit for university credit a piece of work that is the same or substantially similar to work for which you have already gained or intend to gain university credit, at this or any other university. To avoid self plagiarism, you must have prior permission from the relevant instructor(s), and give full attribution to the source (i.e yourself).
Any expression you use that is identical to one in the original source must be presented using “quotation marks,” and the source should be clearly identified.

Any other aspect of another’s work you use that is not a direct quotation should be a paraphrase or summary in your own words.  Simply rearranging the wording of sentences or replacing words with synonyms (changing “occasionally” to “sometimes”) does not qualify as an adequate paraphrase in your own words.  See the following for advice about acceptable paraphrasing https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/1/.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.  Typical penalties may be either loss of credit for the assignment or a failing grade in the course. Perpetrators may also be required to take an academic integrity seminar. Serious cases can lead to academic probation, suspension, expulsion from the University, or the revocation of a degree.


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