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Plagiarism Resource Center: Consequences

Plagiarism Awareness and Prevention

What are the consequences of plagiarism at Westchester Community College?

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

If a student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, faculty members have the right to either:

  1. Fail the student for the assignment/test.
  2. Fail the student for the course.
  3. File a letter of complaint describing the infraction with the Director of Student Support Services or any combination of the above.

A second reported infraction may result in suspension. A third reported infraction may result in expulsion at the discretion of the Director of Student Support Services.

Academic Honesty Policy of Westchester Community College

Westchester Community College's Academic Dishonesty Policy:

Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the college’s educational mission and the students’ personal and intellectual growth. Westchester Community College students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work and to uphold the ideal of academic integrity. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be sanctioned.

Cheating harms the college community in many ways. Honest students are frustrated by the unfairness of cheating that goes undetected and therefore unpunished. Students who cheat skew the grading curve in a class, resulting in lower grades for students who worked hard and did their own work.

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research, or writing as your own. Examples include:

  1. Copying another person’s actual words without both the use of quotations and documentation.
  2. Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without documentation.
  3. Using information that is not considered common knowledge without acknowledging the source.
  4. Using a paper writing “service” or having a friend write the paper for you.

Note: The guidelines that define plagiarism also apply to information secured on internet websites. Internet references must specify precisely where the information was obtained and where it can be found.

You may think that citing another author’s work will lower your grade. In some unusual cases this may be true, if your instructor has indicated that you must write your paper without reading additional material. But in fact, as you progress in your studies, you will be expected to show that you are familiar with important work in your field and can use this work to further your thinking. Your professors write this kind of paper all the time. The key to avoiding plagiarism is that you show clearly where your own thinking ends and someone else’s begins.