Although the nature of this class and the kinds of writing we do here makes it seem redundant that I talk about plagiarism, I need to do it anyway. This class is held in accordance with the academic integrity policy of WKU. (Please read the policy on p. 27 in the Undergraduate Catalogue.) Violating this policy may result in a failing grade for the assignment.
To represent written work taken from another source as one’s own is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense. The academic work of a student must be his/her own. One must give any author credit for source material borrowed from him/her. To lift content directly from a source without giving credit is a flagrant act. To present a borrowed passage without reference to the source after having changed a few words is also plagiarism (Undergraduate Catalogue 27).
In other words, plagiarism is the unauthorized use of someone else’s materials (in any form, printed or published on the web) without using proper citation conventions to indicate the source or by using that work as one’s own. If you want to quote somebody, make sure that you use quotation marks and document your source. As a rule of thumb, do not copy more than three consecutive words—without quotation marks—written by somebody else. Even if you rephrase any ideas into your own words, your source needs to be acknowledged.
Additionally, the work that you turn in for credit this semester must be not only your own, but it must also be producedspecifically for this class. You may not submit a paper or portion of a paper that you completed in the past, even in a slightly altered form, or a paper that you are also working on for another class.
Finally, if you plagiarize, you deprive yourself of gaining the skills that you would acquire by writing on your own. Additionally, if you consider the penalties for turning in plagiarized work, you will quickly find that it is simply not worth it.