SignpostView-01Now that we are halfway through the semester, we are facing midterms, essays and exams until December. While the workload seems overwhelming for the next two months, it is important to remain academically honest in your approaches.

This means staying on top of your work and not being tempted to cheat, lie or steal.

It is easy to plagiarize. It makes work easier because you are putting in less of your own efforts and reusing another person’s work. However, plagiarizing is not only unethical, but it also hinders your growth as a student.

We are spending thousands of dollars to get an education and it would be foolish to waste it. By not putting in the effort to learn all that we can from our professors, we would miss the full opportunities our money could buy.

Plagiarizing comes in many forms, and all are inappropriate for the classroom. The biggest one that comes to mind is quoting a source in a paper and not giving full credit.

However, there are many more ways than that.

Modifying text by way of changing the word choices or syntax is one form of cheating. This is not taking another person’s thoughts and building off of it, but taking someone’s words and using them in almost the same form.

Transcribing books, translating languages and taking photographs are all forms of stealing.

One rule that genuinely surprised the majority of us on the staff is the idea that you are not allowed to resubmit your own work to different classes, which is considered self-plagiarism.

According to Weber State’s plagiarism policy, “Current professors must approve re-using written work from another, or previous course.” We are able to use previous research as a jumping off point in new papers and projects, but may not quote ourselves and take entire paragraphs from a previously used work.

Another act of plagiarism is shown in the form of collusion, or using another student’s work and claiming as your own. With or without permission from the person you are taking from, it is academically dishonest.

We each must take responsibility to approach school with honest efforts, and put in the motivation to get all we can from our professors.

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