"I found your speech to be good and original. However, the part that was original was not good. And the part that was good was not original."
-Samuel Johnson, to one of his less motivated students

What is plagiarism?

First and foremost, plagiarism is a crime. It is the theft of intellectual property. Plagiarism can lead to legal action against you or the College for copyright violations.

Plagiarism is defined as the use of another author's words, research, or ideas without proper attribution and citation, whether such use is intentional or unintentional.

Examples of plagiarism:

  • Word-for-word copying from a source, without quotation marks and without attribution and citation of the original source.

  • Paraphrasing or summarizing a source in your own words, without attribution or citation of the original source.

  • Use of any factual information (that is not considered common knowledge), statistics, photographs, charts, etc. without attribution and citation of the original source.

What is considered "common knowledge"?

"Common knowledge" may be defined as any factual information that can be presumed to be known by most people with average education - "George Washington was our first President", or which can be found in multiple (more than 5 sources). Use the "look it up" rule: if you need to look up factual information for verification, it should not be considered common knowledge and should be cited.

Why shouldn't I plagiarize?

  • You will get caught. There are multiple techniques and tools available to your professors to detect plagiarism.

  • It is unethical and dishonest.

  • It is a criminal act which can lead to legal action.

  • You will devalue your diploma if Hanover College develops a reputation for academic dishonesty.

For more information

Hanover College Policy on Academic Dishonesty (please refer to the Academic Catalog):

Academic Dishonesty Defined:

An academically dishonest act is defined as “any action with the intent to deceive in order to gain an unfair advantage.” Such procedures as the following are academically dishonest:
1. The use by a student of material from published or unpublished sources without acknowledging those sources (see the faculty statement on “The Use of Source Materials”);
2. Submitting to a course, without acknowledgment, a paper that has been written in whole or in part by another person;
3. Copying answers written by another student for a quiz, examination, or other assignment;
4. “Collaborative” efforts in which students write together papers or portions of papers or other assignments and submit them to their instructors without acknowledging that collaboration;
5. The submission of the same paper, or substantially the same paper, by a student to two different courses without prior consultation with the instructors involved;
6. The falsification of documentation for a paper;
7. The falsifying of data for a laboratory assignment;
8. Any other procedure which involves the intent to deceive in order to obtain an unfair advantage, including the knowing and willing assistance of others in the practice of academically dishonest procedures.

Indiana University Writing Center's excellent tutorial on avoiding plagiarism: From the Northwest Missouri State University Library web site, provides links for prevention strategies for faculty, tips on avoiding plagiarism for students, and how to diagnose plagiarism if suspected. A meta-site containing numerous links to online articles and other plagiarism resources for instructors (for example, how to think and talk about plagiarism in the classroom) and students (such as avoiding plagiarism).