Students enrolled in UW courses are expected to observe the code of academic honesty required of University of Washington students. Violation of this code can result in various penalties, including a failing grade in the course and, in some cases, disciplinary actions. Instances of academic dishonesty for credit courses will be handled by the University of Washington Committee on Academic Conduct. Instances of academic dishonesty for noncredit courses will be handled by an internal UW Professional & Continuing Education Committee on Academic Conduct. Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, defined as offering the language or ideas of someone else as one's own. Plagiarism may range from failure to credit isolated formulas, sentences or paragraphs to copying entire articles from books, periodicals, speeches or writing of other students.
Instances of academic dishonesty for credit courses will be handled by the University of Washington Committee on Academic Conduct. If evidence of academic misconduct is established, students will be given a failing grade for the course and any refund of tuition fees will be denied.
Instances of academic dishonesty for noncredit courses will be handled by an internal University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education Committee on Academic Conduct. If evidence of academic misconduct is established, students will be given a failing grade for the course and any refund of tuition fees will be denied.
The following information on acknowledging sources is adapted from A Short Guide to Writing about Art by Sylvan Barnet.
Borrowing without Plagiarizing
You must acknowledge your source (1) if you quote directly, and put the quoted words in quotation marks, (2) if you summarize or paraphrase someone's material, even though not one word of your source is retained and (3) if you borrow a distinctive idea, even though the words and the concrete application are your own.
Fair Use of Common Knowledge
If in doubt as to whether or not to give credit (either in a footnote or merely in an introductory phrase such as "Ralph Linton says"), give credit. As you begin to read widely in your field or subject, you will develop a sense of what is considered common knowledge. Definitions in a dictionary can be considered common knowledge, as can the date of birth and death for a well-known person. This information can be found in many sources, therefore, no source needs to be sited for providing these dates. If you simply know, from your reading of Freud, that Freud was interested in art, you need not cite a specific source for an assertion to that effect, but if you know only because some commentator on Freud said so and you have no idea whether the fact is well known or not, you should give credit to the source that gave you the information. Not to give credit –- for ideas as well as for quoted words – is to plagiarize.
"But How Else Can I Put It?"
If you have just learned – say, from an encyclopedia – something that you sense is common knowledge, you may wonder how you can convey in your own words the idea that has been stated so simply and clearly by the source. To avoid this dilemma, summarize your sources when you take notes. If you take notes thoughtfully, rather than make copies mindlessly, you will probably be safe. You may want to say somewhere that all your facts are drawn from a particular source, not to avoid charges of plagiarism, but to protect yourself in case your source contains errors of fact.