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Statement on Cheating and Plagiarism

The following statement on cheating and plagiarism has been adopted by the Department of Science at Rogue Community College as a policy of its Academic Standards (adopted with permission from Mt. San Antonio College and Professor William Wagner, 1998). Enrollment in courses assigned to the Department of Science constitutes acceptance of the terms of this statement of policy.


Instructors have the responsibility for planning and supervising all academic work in order to encourage honest and individual effort, and of taking appropriate action if instances of academic dishonesty are discovered. However, honesty is primarily the responsibility of each student. The Department of Science considers cheating to be a voluntary act for which there may be many reasons, but for which there is no acceptable excuse. The term "cheating" includes but is not limited to:

  • Plagiarism
  • Accessing, receiving, or knowingly supplying information for which you have not received authorization by the instructor to view, possess, or discuss
  • Using materials or sources in any coursework/examination for which you have not received authorization by the instructor to use
  • Turning in work that has been generated by other individuals, or work completed by the same individual in a previous term
  • Changing an answer after work has been graded and presenting it as improperly graded
  • Accessing confidential information in any form and from any source for which you have not been authorized by the instructor to access
  • Taking an examination for another student or having another student take an exam for you.
  • Forging or altering registration or grade documents

The instructor who determines that a student has cheated may give a failing grade for the assignment, for the course, drop the student from the course, or recommend expulsion from the school. Since the student has failed to abide by the standards of academic honesty, the instructor has the right to give the student a failing grade (F) for the assignment or entire course even though the student may have successfully and, presumably, honestly passed the remaining portion of the assignment or the course. If the instructor issues a failing grade for the course or drops the student, the actions shall be reported to the Dean of Student and Community Services and to the Director of Admissions and Records. An instructor may also recommend that appropriate action be taken under the Procedure for Student Dismissal/Temporary Exclusion From Class per violation of the Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities Statement.


Plagiarism is a direct violation of intellectual and academic honesty. Although it exists in many forms, all plagiarism refers to the same act: representing somebody else's words or ideas as one's own. The most extreme forms of plagiarism are the use of material authored by another person or obtained from a commercial source, or the use of passages copied word-for-word without proper acknowledgement of the original source. Paraphrasing an author's ideas or quoting even limited portions of his/her text without proper citation is also an act of plagiarism. Even putting someone else's ideas into one's own words without proper acknowledgement may be plagiarism. In none of its forms can plagiarism be tolerated in an academic community. It may constitute grounds for a failing grade, probation, suspension, or expulsion.

One distinctive mark of an educated person is the ability to use language correctly and effectively to express ideas. Faculty assigns written work for the purpose of helping students achieve that mark. Each instructor will outline specific criteria, but all expect students to present work that represents the student's understanding of the subject in the student's own words. It is seldom expected that students papers will be based entirely or even primarily on original ideas or original research.

Therefore, incorporating the concepts of others may be appropriate with proper acknowledgement of sources, and to quote others directly by means of quotation marks and acknowledgement is proper. However, if a paper consists primarily of quotations and citations, the paper should be rewritten to show the student's own understanding and expressive ability. The purpose of the written assignment (i.e., development of communication and analytical skills) should be kept in mind as each paper is prepared. It should not be evaded through plagiarism.