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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Avoiding Plagiarism

Are Your Professors Using Turn It In?

Learn more about how it helps your professors catch plagiarism.

Consequences of Plagiarism

According to the Rules of Conduct for Hearings Before the Honor Council, Appeals, and Penalties, the following can result from academic dishonesty:

13. If a violation of the Honor Code involves academic dishonesty, a student ordinarily must spend two academic semesters away from the College of Arts and Sciences. But because of the individual nature of Honor Council cases, the Honor Council, in its discretion, may reduce the requirement to one semester with a vote of two thirds or greater. Such a decision may be considered on, among other things, the following criteria, if discernible in the case: the flagrancy of the violation, the student’s year in the College, and the student’s truthful cooperation throughout the process."

Source: Sewanee: The University of the South Honor Code 

The Reality and Solution of College Plagiarism

Sewanee's Academic Integrity Policy

Sewanee's plagiarism policy is found within the Honor System and in particular, the Honor Code of the University of the South.  Here are the aspects relevant to academic integrity:

"The Honor Code

Resolutions which have been adopted by the student body from time to time to further an understanding of the Honor System include the following:

First, that any adequate conception of honor demands that an honorable person shall not lie or cheat or steal.

Second, that membership in the student body carries with it a peculiar responsibility for the punctilious observance of those standards of conduct which govern an honorable person in every walk of life. 

Third, that since the integrity of the degrees granted by the University must depend in large degree upon the Honor Code, all students in every class must regard themselves as particularly bound by their honor not to cheat in any form, and as likewise bound in honor not to fail to report any cheating that comes to their knowledge.

Fourth, that plagiarism is a form of cheating because the plagiarist copies or imitates the language and thoughts of others and passes the result off as an original work. Plagiarism includes the failure to identify a direct quotation by the use of quotation marks or another accepted convention which delimits and identifies the quotation clearly, paraphrasing the work of another without an acknowledgement of the source, or using the ideas of another, even though expressed in different words, without giving proper credit.

Fifth, the same paper may not be submitted in more than one course without the prior permission of the instructors in those courses.

Sixth, because the preservation of equal access to scholarly materials is essential in any academic community, it is a violation of the Honor Code to fail to check out materials taken from the library, or to remove from the building without proper authorization non­-circulating materials such as reference books, periodicals, or reserved books."

Source: Sewanee: The University of the South Honor Code,


Self-plagiarism is possible and it's just as serious.

Self-plagiarism, or "double-dipping," is deception and goes against the core principles of ethical writing. Papers are assigned for you to demonstrate what you have learned in a particular class. If you reuse a paper you wrote for a previous class, you are not demonstrating new learning.

Examples of self-plagiarism:

  • Turning in a paper for a current class that you already submitted as an assignment for a previous class
  • Using a substantial amount of a paper written for another course as content for a new assignment
  • Treating anything you've previously written as if it were new material