Academic Honesty and Avoiding Plagiarism:

A Self-Guided Tutorial

by Michael Fleming

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What is a college or university but a place where ideas are exchanged? This can occur only in an environment that values truth; indeed, a college can function as a place of learning only so long as it steadfastly protects the value of the ideas that are exchanged there. A university's standing in the academic world depends absolutely on its reputation for intellectual integrity.

Academic culture, like that of law or science, has rigorous standards for the representation of ideas, and to maintain these standards every college or university has an honor code that every professor and student must follow. Misrepresenting the sources of ideas–that is, plagiarism–is a serious offense that can have drastic consequences.

The purpose of this tutorial is to enable you to represent ideas properly, not only so that you can avoid plagiarism but, much more importantly, so that you can participate fully in the intellectual world of academia.

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