"To plagiarize is to present another person’s words or ideas as if they were your own" (Troyka 581).
By putting your name on the work you turn in, you claim it all as your own unless you otherwise give credit to another source.
Common knowledge, an exception: If a fact appears in several sources, it is considered common knowledge and need not be given credit. Biographical facts, historical dates and events, the names of characters in a novel, scientific facts…these are generally common knowledge. However, the phrasing of the information should not be used verbatim without giving credit unless the information is very short and simple, like "World War II ended in 1945." (Authorship of something like "World War II, the debacle of the century, ground to a halt in 1945" should be acknowledged, or the fact should be rewritten as "World War II ended in 1945.")
It is also unacceptable, on individual assignments, to turn in work that duplicates another student’s work, even if you worked together. Assume that every assignment requires an individual response unless I specifically tell you that it is to be done with a partner or group.
The work described above would receive a grade of zero. That zero would not be dropped at the end of the nine weeks, if it were dropping a grade. A conduct grade of N or U might also be assessed, and a discipline referral to the student's assistant principal will be written.
How do you give credit to sources?
In formal essays, I will ask you to use parenthetic references and a works cited list; we will review how to do that. If you borrow words or ideas for other assignments, give the name of the source (for example, The West Wing, 11/12/2001) and use quotation marks if you borrow someone’s exact words (for example, Odysseus is "fated to suffer" on his trip home). If you have any doubt about whether you need to give credit, or if you have a question about how to give credit, ask me before turning in your work.
Students should keep a copy of this in their notebooks. A printer friendly version is below.
Troyka, Lynn Quitman. Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers. (2nd ed.) Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1990. 581-3.
Design & wording of plagiarism handout provided courtesy of Lorri Wincompleck, Alamo Heights High School.