Page 7 - BSC Student Handbook 2012-2013

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from the instructor on the use of materials such
as notes, tests, books and papers.
4.
Creative and Artistic Work:
In the fine and per-
forming arts, many assignments require students
to submit original pieces of work. Assignments of
poetry and prose, drawings and paintings, musi-
cal compositions, and dance choreography will
often mean that students must rely on their own
creative abilities to develop their submissions.
Relying on the work of other authors, artists,
musicians, dancers and choreographers is a viola-
tion of this requirement. You should check with
your professor regarding how prior works of arts
may directly influence your submissions to avoid
an Honor Code infraction.
PLAGIARISM DEFINED
Note: This is the official definition of “plagiarism”
developed by the SGA Honor Code Committee and
Dr. Susan Hagen which is currently in use by the
BSC faculty:
WHEN YOU USE SOMEONE ELSE’S
WORDS, IDEAS, OR DATA DERIVED
THROUGH EXPERIMENTATION OR
INVESTIGATION WITHOUT GIVING
THAT PERSON CREDIT, YOU ARE
PLAGIARIZING. THIS IS CONTRARY
TO ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND TO
THE BSC HONOR CODE.
Plagiarism is a serious offense. It is also an
unnecessary one. Protection against it is easy: simply
cite the source of your material. The amount of
information required in that citation and the particu-
lar form the citation will take varies from discipline
to discipline. Sometimes, only a name and a title of a
study or a book are required; sometimes place of
publication, publisher, date and page numbers for
reference are also required.
One thing remains constant in all disciplines,
however. If a thought, a figure, a phrase, or a por-
tion of an artistic work is not original to you, then
you must tell the viewer of your work whose
thought, figure, phrase, or artistic work it is. In text-
based academic work, such as research papers and
presentations, referencing the original work typically
follows discipline-specific conventions. Check with
your professor for the precise form of documenta-
tion you should use. In artistic work involving cre-
ative writing, dance, music, theater, and the fine
arts, relying on original works will often not be
allowed. Ask you professor if you are unsure
whether an assignment allows you to incorporate
others’ work, and if permitted, how to reference it.
You may argue that in a research paper, none, or
very little, of the information is original to you —
otherwise you would not have had to research —
therefore, every sentence would seem to require
some sort of citation. This is not necessary, however,
for points of common knowledge do not have to be
documented. The trick, of course, is in deciding
what is common knowledge to those educated in any
given discipline when none of it was common knowl-
edge to you. There is no foolproof rule to follow;
ultimately, you will have to rely on your own judg-
ment, but this guideline may be useful to you: if the
information can be found in an encyclopedia and it
is not an indirect quotation, or if the information is
found in two or more books or articles you have
read and it is not a direct or indirect quotation, it is
common knowledge. If in doubt, it is better to err in
favor of too much documentation than too little. The
more versed you become in research and writing, the
easier these judgments will be to make.
Remember, even if you paraphrase (indirect quo-
tation) or summarize material, you must document,
especially if you adopt the vocabulary or phraseology
of your source. Sometimes someone simply states
something with a flair, an emphasis, or a precision
not your own. So, you adopt whole phrases, or just a
word or two to enhance your writing. This is permis-
sible — as long as you admit that that flair, that
emphasis, that precision are not your own.
INSTRUCTOR’S INTERPRETATION
As early as possible in the term, the instructor
should make clear to his or her classes how the spec-
ifications of the Honor Code apply to his or her
individual requirements. For example, what is legiti-
mate in the use of old examinations or student
papers, studying together, use of source material for
an original report, etc., should be made clear.
SUMMATION
Inherently, an honor system contains a paradox.
If students are honorable, it is insulting to conceive
that they could be dishonorable. If students are dis-
honorable, it is foolish to suppose that an oath of
integrity will prevent them from cheating. However,
at BSC we believe honor is not an inevitable quality.
The environment exercises powerful influences
upon the individual’s integrity. We believe the honor
system is the system most conducive to placing
responsibility where it belongs — with the students.
In signing the pledge, one should realize that he or
she is making a commitment to one’s self, his or her
fellow students, and to the College. This pledge