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AML2011 (Freuler): Academic Honesty

A guide to help students complete library research in Professor Freuler's American Literature class at the Osceola Campus.

Valencia's Policy on Academic Honesty

All forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited at Valencia College. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism
  • cheating
  • furnishing false information
  • forgery
  • alteration or misuse of documents
  • misconduct during a testing situation
  • misuse of identification with intent to defraud or deceive


All work submitted by students is expected to be the result of the students' individual thoughts, research, and self-expression. Whenever a student uses ideas, wording, or organization from another source, the source shall be appropriately acknowledged.


VALENCIA COLLEGE DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEES

POLICY AND PROCEDURE Number: 6Hx28:10-16

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or imitation of another's work passed off as  your own, without giving credit to the original author. Plagiarism can be both intentional (copy and pasting from the internet, buying a paper, or paying someone to write your paper) or unintentional (neglecting to cite a source within a research paper). Whatever your intentions, there can be serious implications for plagiarism, including warnings, probation, suspension, or even expulsion from Valencia College.


The easiest way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources using MLA format (you can find the tab for MLA format above). But what needs to be cited? You should always cite ideas you've gotten from reading a book, journal article, web site, etc. You should also always cite direct quotations taken from a source. Charts, diagrams, images, audio, and video should also include a source.

Things to consider when citing sources:

Using your own thoughts - If you are including your own thoughts, observations, or experiment results, you do not need to cite this information. The main purpose of citing sources is so your instructor could look back to the item to verify your information if needed. These kinds of personal thoughts or information is not printed in books or articles, and therefore cannot be checked. However, if you conduct an interview with a person for your research (in person, on the phone, or in writing), this needs to be cited, as the information gained is not your thoughts.

New information versus common knowledge - is this fact something that everyone should know? For example, stating that Brett Favre is/was an American football player is something that most everyone knows. However, stating that he has thrown 508 career touchdown passes is a fact that may be little-known, and may vary depending on the source you view. A fact like this needs to be cited.


You may still have questions on plagiarism, so consult the web sites below, speak with your instructor, or contact your librarian for more information.