Entry into graduate school signifies the beginning of a student’s professional training, and part of this training involves learning recognize and steer clear of professional misconduct. While appropriate professional conduct extends to many aspects of your future career, this web page focuses on the proper use of citations in written work and the avoidance of plagiarism.
“Plagiarism is defined as the use of the words, ideas, diagrams, etc., of publicly available work without appropriately acknowledging the sources of these materials. This definition constitutes plagiarism whether it is intentional or unintentional and whether it is the work of another or your own, previously published work. Plagiarism is a very serious offense that the University of Washington does not tolerate. Evidence of plagiarism may prevent granting of your degree.” (Source: University of Washington)
As straight-forward as this may sound, it has been our experience that students are often uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism. Furthermore, although the University of Washington has clear guidelines about this, students – and faculty – are generally poorly informed about how instances of suspected plagiarism should be handled.
The University of Washington has delineated what behaviors are considered to be plagiarism:
There are hundreds of excellent resources available on the Web on detecting and avoiding plagiarism.
Useful UW websites:
Student Academic Responsibility
Selected Web Resources on Academic Plagiarism
Health Services Student Development Resource on Plagiarism
Another good resource is Duke University’s plagiarism website:
Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism
Warning Signs & Prevention
The best way to avoid plagiarism is to know when and how to properly cite sources that you use in written work. Again, there are many helpful guides, including:
Citation & Writing Guides (UW)
What & How to Cite (Duke University)
The SPH Procedures for Suspected Academic Misconduct can be found at the following link:
The University of Washington describes the possible consequences for a student when plagiarism is demonstrated. These include: