Department of History Policy on Academic Dishonesty

Because knowledge depends on truthfulness, because the accurate and fair assessment of students' learning requires the genuineness of their work, and because the relationship between student and professor relies on trust, the Department of History endorses the following standard for all courses taught by members of the department:

Academic dishonesty will be punished by a failing grade for the course. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean.
Students are responsible for knowing and acting in accord with both the Code of Academic Integrity and all policies established by the professor for the class. Please note that helping someone else violate this policy is itself a violation of the policy.
Faculty should:
  • state clearly their policies in their syllabus and in class.
  • educate students both about plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty and how to avoid them.
  • actively detect and penalize academic dishonesty.
Note, however, that, as the Code states, students are bound by its general parameters in every class even if the professor does not explicitly say so. (“ Students shall observe the generally applicable provisions of this Code whether or not faculty members establish special rules of academic integrity for particular classes.”)
One of the most common forms of academic dishonesty is plagiarism.
Academic writers commonly rely on other writers' work, sometimes reacting against it, sometimes building on it. When they refer to others' work, whether they quote it verbatim, paraphrase it, or simply summarize it, they include a reference (such as a footnote) which acknowledges it.
Learning from and building on someone else's work in a paper is not a problem; failing to acknowledge the use is a serious problem: plagiarism.
Plagiarism is using the ideas or words of someone else without acknowledging them as the other person's. “Common knowledge,” however, cannot be plagiarized.
Examples of plagiarism:
  • Incorporating someone else's words verbatim without indicating this with quotation marks and indicating what the source is. This applies not only to traditional published sources like books, but also to language found on the internet, as well as unpublished sources. Copying another student's words is plagiarism.
  • Incorporating someone else's language but changing a few words.
  • Buying a paper.
  • Using someone else's original idea (even if in your own words) without giving them credit for it.
  • However, an idea which is commonly known or can be found in several places constitutes “common knowledge” and can be referred to without attribution.
  • When in doubt, acknowledge the source.
  • Cite not only traditional published sources (e.g., books), but other sources as well (the internet, lectures, even conversations). 
Students with questions about academic dishonesty should ask their professors.
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Department of History
Social Sciences 215
1145 E. South Campus Drive
Tucson, AZ 85721
Tel: (520) 621-1586
Fax: (520) 621-2422