GUIDELINES ABOUT PLAGIARISM AND HONOUR CHARTER
Assignments, presentations and final dissertation :
what is expected from you, what is allowed,
what is forbidden
Academic year 2003-2004
Professor Jean-Claude Ray
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction ............................................................................................... 2
Section 1 : What is plagiarism, what it is not .................................................. 4
Section 2 : When and how citing sources ..................................................... 11 Section 3 : Possible sanctions ..................................................................... 16
Annex 1 : Tricks to avoid plagiarism ............................................................ 17 Annex 2 : Complementary sources of informations ........................................ 19
This document is about plagiarism.
Plagiarism can be seen as the unacknowledged use of somebody else‟s words or
While some cultures may show some tolerance vis-à-vis the lack of
1documentation of sources, our institutions (KULeuven and CEPS/INSTEAD) do
not. As MIT-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we consider “our words and
ideas intellectual property ; like a car or any other possession, we believe our
2words belong to us and cannot be used without our permission”.
Then, we can consider like Northwestern University that “A conscientious writer
always distinguishes clearly between what has been learned from others and
3what he or she is personally contributing to the reader's understanding”. You
can find many reasons for requiring from students and researchers such a behaviour. Apart legal aspects, the main concerns are ethics and efficiency. As pointed out at Princeton University, “… the essential element is intellectual
honesty. … Proper citation permits a reader to determine the extent of your knowledge of the topic. And, most important, proper citation permits a reader to
1 “For example, students from schools in east Asia may learn that copying directly from sources, without citation, is the proper way to write papers and do research. Students in France, preparing for the Baccalaureate examination, may be encouraged to memorize whole passages from secondary sources and copy them into papers and exam essays. Those cultural differences can sometimes lead to false assumptions about citation practices and expectations …” http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pub/integrity/pages/citing.html, section 5
3 http://www.northwestern.edu/uacc/plagiar.html, introductory part
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more readily understand and appreciate your original contribution to the subject. In contrast, a very well-informed, complex, or sophisticated piece of work, without adequate or accurate acknowledgment of sources, will only provoke your
45reader‟s concern or suspicion”. Moreover, “As any of you know who have found
interesting ideas or sources in the notes or bibliography of an article, they can be valuable in pointing out new directions for readers to take in their own research”.
6Plagiarism can be perceived as (MIT) “a very serious offense” that might
(University of Puget Sound) “undermine the mutual trust upon which educational
Therefore, as a complement to the regulations (laws) applicable to you (http://www.kuleuven.ac.be/English/pdf/exregulations.pdf) as a student
of the University of Leuven, we have gathered information (often taken from outside world) about the nature of plagiarism [Section 1], rules about the way to document sources in the scope of the IMPALLA program [Section 2] and possible sanctions [Section 3].
This handout as a whole must be seen as our official position to be used as a Honour charter about (against) plagiarism. Take a copy of pages 2 and 3 of it and bring them, signed, to the Impalla Secretary. Signing up this Honour charter means that you have read it carefully and that you bind yourself to take it into account as honestly as possible.
8For agreement about the document :
GUIDELINES ABOUT PLAGIARISM AND HONOUR CHARTER
Assignments, presentations and final dissertation :
what is expected from you, what is allowed, what is forbidden
Date Name of the student
4 http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pub/integrity/pages/acknowledge.html 5 Princeton University, http://web.princeton.edu/sites/writing/Writing_center/Handouts/WhentoCiteSources.pdf,
6 http://www.libraries.mit.edu/guides/courses/fall2001/21f.222/plagiarism.html 7 Inger Brody, Ann Ekes, and Jeanette DiScala, University of Puget Sound's Academic Standards Committee, Subcommittee on Academic Honesty ; http://library.ups.edu/research/guides/intelown.htm
8 To be copied and given back to the IMPALLA secretariat
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SECTION 1 : WHAT IS PLAGIARISM, WHAT IT IS NOT
Plagiarism is a generic term involving many kinds of behaviour. Verbatim use (“word for word”) of the text of an author without any reference to the source is plagiarism. Using “common knowledge” (e.g. George W. Bush is the president of
the USA), that is (Northwestern University) “knowledge which is common to all of
us or ideas which have been in the public domain and are found in a number of
9sources”, is not. In-between those two extremes lie intermediary actions (e.g. paraphrasing) that must be carefully taken into account. The following figure, due
10to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab, gives some examples of
We could adopt, as a sufficiently open definition of plagiarism, the one by the University of California/Los Angeles : “Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of another‟s words or ideas as if they were own ; including, but not limited to representing, either with the intent to deceive or by omission of the true source, part of an entire work produced by someone other than the student, obtained by purchase or otherwise, as the student‟s original work ; or, representing the identifiable but altered ideas, data or writing of another person
11as if those ideas, data or writing were the student‟s original work”. In addition,
it should be clear that (University of Michigan) “Reworking somebody else‟s
9 http://www.northwestern.edu/uacc/plagiar.html, section 2
10 Brought by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab, http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/research/r_plagiar.html, section1 11 http://www.deanofstudents.ucla.edu/studentconductcode.pdf
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12sentences with a thesaurus is still plagiarism”. Moreover, if, while paraphrasing,
(MIT) “… your words and phrases are too close to those of the original source,
13this, too, is plagiarism”. In this sense, using a thesaurus for rewriting an original document, or translating it, must also be seen as plagiarism. In practice, plagiarism usually take then two forms : direct/mosaic plagiarism (“word for word” copying) and paraphrasing. Here follow some examples of each of them. In all those examples, enlightenments (through italics) are ours.
(source : http://www.northwestern.edu/uacc/plagiar.html)
From : Emotion in the Human Face : Guidelines for Research and an
Integration of Findings by Paul Ekman, Wallace V. Friesen, Phoebe Ellsworth
(New York : Pergamon Press, Inc), p.1. (Psychology source)
The human face in repose and in movement, at the moment of death as in
life, in silence and in speech, when alone and with others, when seen or
sensed from within, in actuality or as represented in art or recorded by the
camera is a commanding, complicated, and at times confusing source of
information. The face is commanding because of its very visibility and
omnipresence. While sounds and speech are intermittent, the face even in
repose can be informative. And, except by veils or masks, the face cannot
be hidden from view. There is no facial maneuver equivalent to putting one's
hands in one's pockets. Further, the face is the location for sensory inputs,
life-necessary intake, and communicative output. The face is the site for the
sense receptors of taste, smell, sight, and hearing, the intake organs for
food, water, and air, and the output location for speech. The face is also
commanding because of its role in early development; it is prior to language
in the communication between parent and child.
Misuse of source
Many experts agree that the human face, whether in repose or in movement,
is a commanding, complicated, and sometimes confusing source of
information. The face is commanding because it's visible and omnipresent.
Although sounds and speech may be intermittent, the face even in repose
may give information. And, except by veils or masks, the face cannot be
hidden. Also, the face is the location for sensory inputs, life-supporting
intake, and communication.
The plagiarized passage is an almost verbatim copy of the original source.
The writer has compressed the author's opinions into fewer sentences by
omitting several phrases and sentences. But this compression does not
disguise the writer's reliance on this text for the concepts he passes off as
his own. The writer tries to disguise his indebtedness by beginning with the
phrase "Many experts agree that. ...". This reference to "many experts"
makes it appear that the writer was somehow acknowledging the work of
scholars "too numerous to mention". The plagiarized passage makes several
subtle changes in language (e.g., it changes "visibility and omnipresence" to
"it's visible and omnipresent"). The writer has made the language seem
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more informal in keeping with his own writing style. He ignores any embellishments or additional information given in the source-passage. He contents himself with borrowing the sentence about how only masks and veils can hide the face, without using the follow-up elaboration about there not being a "facial equivalent to putting one's hands in one's pockets". He also reduces the source's list of the face's diverse activities at the end of the paragraph.
Had the writer credited the authors of the Emotions book in this text or in a footnote, and enclosed the borrowed material in quotation marks, this would have been a legitimate use of a source.
(source : http://www.csubak.edu/ssric/modules/Other/plagiarism.html)
Let's suppose you were assigned to write a book review of Theodore M. Porter's book, Trust in Numbers : The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life (Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 1995). In preparing to write your paper, you come across a book review by Lisa R. Staffen, published in Contemporary Sociology (March, 1996, Vol. 25, No., 2, pp. 154-156).
Staffen's review begins as follows :
It has become fashionable to reject the notion of absolute objectivity on the grounds that objectivity is simply unattainable or, even if attainable, is undesirable.
Staffen's opening is good, active prose. Let's suppose you like it. More important, you imagine that your instructor would like it a lot. You decide to start your paper as follows. (I've indicated Staffen's original comment in red.)
Plagiarism : I feel it has become fashionable to reject the notion of absolute objectivity on the grounds that objectivity is simply unattainable. This would be a clear case of plagiarism and therefore unacceptable. Adding "I feel" at the beginning is a nice personal touch, but it doesn't change anything.
(source : http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pub/integrity/pages/plagiarism.html)
Original source (text)
The Playwright as Magician. New Haven :
Yale University Press, 1979. pp.102-103.
From time to time this submerged or latent theater in Hamlet becomes almost overt. It is close to the surface in Hamlet's pretense of madness, the "antic disposition" he puts on to protect himself and prevent his antagonists from plucking out the heart of his mystery. It is even closer to the surface when Hamlet enters his mother's room and holds up, side by side, the pictures of the two kings, Old Hamlet and Claudius, and proceeds to describe for her the true nature of the choice she has made, presenting truth by means of a show. Similarly, when he leaps into the open grave at Ophelia's funeral, ranting in high heroic terms, he is acting out for Laertes, and perhaps for himself as well, the folly of excessive, melodramatic expressions of grief.
Text example 1
verbatim plagiarism, or unacknowledged direct quotation :
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Almost all of Shakespeare's Hamlet can be understood as a play about acting and the theater. For example, there is Hamlet's pretense of madness, the "antic disposition" that he puts on to protect himself and prevent his antagonists from plucking out the heart of his mystery. When Hamlet enters his mother‟s room, he holds up, side by side, the pictures of the two kings, Old Hamlet and Claudius, and proceeds to describe for her the true nature of the choice she has made, presenting truth by means of a show. Similarly, when he leaps into the open grave at Ophelia's funeral, ranting in high heroic terms, he is acting out for Laertes, and perhaps for himself as well, the folly of excessive, melodramatic expressions of grief.
Aside from an opening sentence loosely adapted from the original and reworded more simply, this entire passage is taken almost word-for-word from the source. The few small alterations of the source do not relieve the writer of the responsibility to attribute these words to their original author. A passage from a source may be worth quoting at length if it makes a point precisely or elegantly. In such cases, copy the passage exactly, place it in quotation marks, and cite the author.
Text example 2
lifting selected passages and phrases without proper acknowledgment : Almost all of Shakespeare's Hamlet can be understood as a play about acting and the theater. For example, in Act 1, Hamlet adopts a pretense of madness that he uses to protect himself and prevent his antagonists from discovering his mission to revenge his father's murder. He also presents truth by means of a show when he compares the portraits of Gertrude's two husbands in order to describe for her the true nature of the choice she has made. And when he leaps in Ophelia's open grave ranting in high heroic terms, Hamlet is acting out the folly of excessive, melodramatic expressions of grief.
This passage, in content and structure, is taken wholesale from the source. Although the writer has rewritten much of the paragraph, and fewer phrases are lifted verbatim from the source, this is a clear example of plagiarism. Inserting even short phrases from the source into a new sentence still requires placing quotations around the borrowed words and citing the author. If even one phrase is good enough to borrow, it must be properly set off by quotation marks. In the case above, if the writer had rewritten the entire paragraph and only used Alvin Kernan's phrase "high heroic terms" without properly quoting and acknowledging its source, the writer would have plagiarized.
Example 4 (source : http://web.princeton.edu/sites/writing/Writing_Center/Handouts/Plagiarism.pdf
Here is a passage from "Warfare : An Invention - Not a Biological Necessity" by Margaret Mead. In this essay, Mead says that warfare :
is an invention like any other of the inventions in terms of which we order our lives, such as writing, marriage, cooking our food instead of eating it raw, trial by jury, or burial of the dead, and so on. Some of this list any one will grant are inventions : trial by jury is confined to very limited portions of the globe; we know that there are tribes that do not bury their dead but instead expose or cremate them; and we know that only part of the human race has had a knowledge of writing as its cultural inheritance. But, whenever a way of doing things is found universally, such as the use of fire or the practice of some form of marriage, we tend to think at once that it is not an invention at all but an attribute of humanity itself.
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Here is how one student used this passage in his essay :
We know that there are many cultures that do not have warfare, and therefore it seems that warfare, is an invention like any other of the inventions in terms of which we order our lives, such as writing, marriage, cooking our food instead of eating it raw, trial by jury, or burial of the dead. You can see that the italicized portion comes directly from Mead's texts. Therefore this passage is plagiarized. It does not matter that the inventions that Mead lists could have been listed by anyone else. It does not matter that the student learned this material from Mead, and thinks that he doesn't need to document everything that he has learned. The fact is this : this material comes directly from another writer, is not placed within quotation marks, is not documented, and therefore is stolen.
(source : http://www.northwestern.edu/uacc/plagiar.html)
From : Language in Sociocultural Change by Joshua Fishman (Stanford University Press, 1972), p.67. (Linguistics source)
In a relatively open and fluid society there will be few characteristics of lower-class speech that are not also present (albeit to a lesser extent) in the speech of the working and lower middle classes. Whether we look to phonological features such as those examined by Labov or to morphological units such as those reported by Fischer (1958) (Fischer studied the variation between -in' and -ing for the present participle ending, i.e. runnin' vs. running and found that the former realization was more common when children were talking to each other than when they were talking to him, more common among boys than girls, and more common among "typical boys" than among "model boys"), we find not a clear-cut cleavage between the social classes but a difference in rate of realization of particular variants of particular variables for particular contexts. Even the widely publicized distinction between the "restricted code" of lower-class speakers and the "elaborate code" of middle-class speakers (Bernstein 1964, 1966) is of this type, since Bernstein includes the cocktail party and the religious service among the social situations in which restricted codes are realized. Thus, even in the somewhat more stratified British setting the middle class is found to share some of the features of what is considered to be "typically" lower-class speech. Obviously then, "typicality," if it has any meaning at all in relatively open societies, must refer largely to repertoire range rather than to unique features of the repertoire.
Misuse of source
In a relatively fluid society many characteristics of lower-class speech will also be found among the working and lower middle classes. Labov's and Fischer's studies show that there is not a clear-cut cleavage between social classes but only a difference in the frequency of certain speech modes. All classes share certain speech patterns. The difference among classes would only be apparent by the frequency with which speech expressions or patterns appeared. By this standard, then, Bernstein's distinction between the "restricted code" of the lower-class speakers and the "elaborated code" of middle-class speakers is useful only up to a point, since Bernstein mentions cocktail parties and religious services as examples of "restricted speech" groupings. "Typicality" refers more to speech "range" than to particular speech features.
While this passage contains relatively few direct borrowings form the original source, all its ideas and opinions are lifted from it. The writer hides her
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dependency on the source by translating its academic terms into more credible language for a novice in sociology. For example, the plagiarist steers clear of sophisticated terms like "phonological features," "morphological units," and "repertoire range". However, her substitutions are in themselves clues to her plagiarism, since they over-generalize the source's meaning. The writer seems to acknowledge secondary sources when she refers to Labov's and Fischer's studies, but she obviously has no first-hand knowledge of their research. If she had consulted these studies, she should have footnoted them, rather than pretending that both she and her audience would be completely familiar with them. She intertwines her own opinions with the source and forms a confused, plagiarized mass. The writer should have acknowledged her indebtedness to her source by eliminating borrowed phrases and crediting her paragraph as a paraphrase of the original material.
(source : http://www.csuohio.edu/a_and_s/faculty/handbook/genint/plag.html)
MATERIALS WHICH EVEN IF PROPERLY PARAPHRASED MUST BE CREDITED TO THEIR SOURCES
"He was still returning frequently to see the Elgin Marbles, and perhaps within recent months had made the tracing that survives, in the Keats House in Rome, of the Sosibios Vase" (Bate 510).
Proper Paraphrase : During this period Keats often revisited the Elgin Marbles, and there is some reason to believe he may have made a tracing of the original urn, the so-called Sosibios Vase (Bate 510).
Improper (Plagiaristic) Paraphrase : Keats continued to go back often to
inspect the Elgin Marbles, and maybe in the same time had produced the drawing that is now extant, in the Keats House in Rome, of the Sosibios Vase.
Explanation : In the proper paraphrase considerable changes have been made both in wording and ordering; the detailed facts surrounding the composition of Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" are not generally known; they represent the results of a specific researcher's investigations, and the writer of the proper paraphrase has accordingly credited them to Bate by means of a parenthetical citation. (This citation could also be done through a footnote.) In the improper paraphrase, the writer merely translated Bate's words, usually for the worse. He has failed to give Bate credit due him for the results of his research.
Original Version :
"It is in every way a more considerable poem than the 'Nightingale.' This is not to say that it is superior. For it achieved its success partly because it is more limited in what it tries to say" (Bate 510).
Proper Paraphrase : In Bate's view the "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is not a better poem than the "Ode to a Nightingale," but, he implies, it is successful because it is both more conscious and more limited in its aim (510).
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Improper (Plagiaristic) Paraphrase : The "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is in all
aspects a more thought out work than the "Nightingale". This is not to assert that it is better. For it attains its victory in part because it is less extensive in what it seeks to declare.
Explanation : The writer of the proper paraphrase has significantly altered Bate's wording; because the opinions expressed are the particular views of Bate, his name is associated with them in the text. In such circumstance, both the reasoning and the words of the original author are his property and the use of either must be credited. The parenthetical citation (or footnote) is provided in order to give specific information as to the place where Bate's opinion may be found. The writer of the improper paraphrase has slavishly attempted to translate Bate's comment and has failed to provide any indication of the source.
Paraphrasing Lecture Material
If material comes from a lecture or discussion in a course, particularly the former, you should give credit to the lecturer. If your notes are inexact, consult the lecturer or do your own research to substantiate the point. Conclusion
The reason for clear documentation may be simply stated : clear documentation gives proper credit to the work of others and permits your reader to check at its source the evidence on which your work is based. As in scientific writing, writing in other fields should permit the reader to follow your experiment and arrive at the same results. The comparison is not exact, but it may serve to illustrate the nature of the task of writing. College and graduate school courses prepare one for the time when others than teachers and fellow students will be interested in your work and will want to follow it up.
(source : http://www.csubak.edu/ssric/modules/Other/plagiarism.htm)
Staffen's review begins as follows :
It has become fashionable to reject the notion of absolute objectivity on the grounds that objectivity is simply unattainable or, even if attainable, is undesirable”.
Plagiarism : Many people today have rejected the idea that there is such a thing as absolute objectivity since they do not believe that it can be achieved.
Even though few of the original words remain in the passage above, the thought expressed has been taken from another writer and offered as your own. Even if you found a way to express Staffen's idea without using any of her original words, that would still constitute plagiarism. Sorry. If you're going to use someone else's words and/or ideas, you have to give them due credit.
Use someone else's words and ideas, go to jail. Well, it's not quite that bad, but academics don't have much sense of humor about cheating. I'll admit, I kind of enjoyed the student who turned in a paper his friend had written for the same course the preceding semester. He just whited-out his friend's name and typed his own over it--and you could read the original name from the back of the page. He took the course again.
There is nothing wrong with presenting someone else's words and ideas in a term paper or in a published, scholarly work. In fact, any field of thought