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Understanding Plagiarism

LETU Academic Integrity Policy

Policy

A foundation of mutual trust is essential to the learning community. Students and faculty break that trust when they violate ethical standards that the community of scholars expects each member to uphold. Academic dishonesty is a serious breach of trust within the LeTourneau University community because it violates the regard for truth that is essential to genuine learning and Christian consistency. From a broader perspective, it hurts both offending students and their peers who complete their work with integrity. Therefore, the LeTourneau University community will not tolerate academic dishonesty and encourages a student who experiences particular difficulties in a course to discuss the problem with the instructor rather than succumb to the pressure to commit academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty is not qualitatively different from other types of dishonesty. It consists of misrepresentation in an attempt to deceive. In an academic setting, this dishonesty may take various forms including, but not limited to, the following: 

Cheating 

  • Obtaining, distributing, or using a test, unauthorized information regarding a test, or other unauthorized assignment material.
  • Using unauthorized files, tests, problems, or lab reports from previous classes other than allowed by the faculty member.
  • Copying or using unauthorized technological or print aids in tests, examinations, or laboratory reports.
  • Looking at an examination paper or answer sheet of another student.
  • Cooperating or aiding in any of the above. 

Plagiarizing  

  • Submitting someone else’s words, works, or ideas as if they were one’s own.
  • Presenting the words, works, or ideas of someone else without accurately or completely citing the source.
  • Self-plagiarizing or recycling (without permission of the faculty member) one’s own work as original in one course when it was created in another course or for another assignment.

University Responses to Academic Dishonesty

Cases of academic dishonesty are typically first handled by the faculty member teaching the course in which the violation occurs. If a faculty member finds a student guilty of violating the Academic Integrity Policy, the possible sanctions he or she may impose include but are not limited to the following:

  • A requirement to redo the paper or assignment.

  • A significant score reduction, failing grade, or zero given on the specific exam, paper, or assignment.

  • A grade reduction or failing grade given for the course. 

The above are examples of typical sanctions, but the faculty member is free to determine an appropriate course penalty given the severity of the specific violation. This is left to the discretion of the professor, but he or she may elect to consult a supervisor or dean, and/or the Dean of Students.