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Academic Honesty Statement

Las Positas College Faculty Senate

Las Positas College promotes student success by providing high quality instruction and learning resources. The primary factor in student success, however, is the student's devotion of considerable time and energy to the learning process. A high grade in a Las Positas College course is, therefore, something of which both the college and the student can be proud. It indicates mastery of the material achieved through hard work.

Any form of academic dishonesty, whether cheating or plagiarism, undermines the value of grades for the entire student body and the College as a whole. It is an affront to every student who has labored to achieve success honestly and a threat to the College's reputation for academic excellence. For these reasons, the College does not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty. Any student attempting to gain an unfair advantage in a course will be severely penalized, up to and including suspension from classes. The actions taken against the student will also be permanently entered into the student's record in the case of repeated, flagrant, or serious incidents.

For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

Cheating is defined as fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic assignment. It may involve:

  • Copying or attempting to copy from others during an examination or for an assignment;
  • Communicating examination information to, or receiving such information from, another person during an examination;
  • Preprogramming a calculator or computer to contain answers or other unauthorized information for examinations;
  • Using, attempting to use, or assisting others in using materials that are prohibited or inappropriate in the context of the academic assignment or examination in question, such as: books, Web sites, prepared answers, written notes, or concealed information;
  • Allowing others to do one's assignment or a portion of one's assignment or using a commercial term paper service;
  • Allowing someone else access to your secure online classroom to complete assignments or portions of assignments;
  • Gaining unauthorized access to another student’s online classroom account;
  • Altering examination answers after an assignment has been completed or altering recorded grades; and
  • Resubmitting a previously written assignment for a new course without the permission of the instructor.

Plagiarism is defined as using another's work (whether printed, electronic, or spoken) without crediting him or her. Whereas cheating is almost always intentional, students sometimes plagiarize accidentally. It is vital, therefore, for students to understand the many different kinds of actions that constitute plagiarism:

  • Submitting the whole of another's work as one's own (see the definition of "cheating" above: this includes submitting another student's paper or a paper obtained from a commercial term paper service as one's own);
  • Using the exact wording of a source without putting that wording in quotation marks and citing it;
  • Paraphrasing the wording of a source without citing it;
  • Inadequately paraphrasing the wording of a source (not only the words, but the sentence structure of the original must be changed);
  • Summarizing the ideas of a source without citing it; and
  • Overusing the ideas of a source, so that those ideas make up the majority of one's work.

From discipline to discipline and course to course, students will find that instructors will sometimes use teaching tools like modeling (in which the student is asked to "model" his or her writing after another's) or collaboration (in which students co-write or share ideas for an assignment) that seem very close to plagiarism. In cases like these, the instructor will be very careful to emphasize that the "use of another's work" is occurring within the specific parameters of the assignment. Such use should not occur in other contexts or without the supervision and consent of an instructor.

Definition of plagiarism influenced in part by the academic honesty policies of Ohlone College, Fremont California and Hamilton College, Clinton New York; by "What is Plagiarism," Turnitin.com Oakland: iParadigms, 2003. 10 Feb. 2004 ; and by Robert A. Harris, The Plagiarism Handbook (Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 2001)

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Page last modified: February 23, 2012