Scholastic Dishonesty and Academic Misconduct

Midland College encourages high academic standards, including student responsibility for original work. As a part of this stance, Midland College endorses the following definitions and guidelines regarding scholastic dishonesty and academic misconduct, including the areas of cheating, plagiarism, and collusion.

Academic misconduct is the actual or attempted tampering or misuse of academic records or materials such as transcripts and examinations. Examples are: stealing, buying, or otherwise obtaining all or part of an unadministered test or academic exercise; selling, buying, or giving away all or part of an unadministered academic exercise or any information about it; changing or altering a grade book, test, “drop form,” or other official academic record of the college; unauthorized entry into a building or office for the purpose of changing a grade or tampering in any way with grades or examinations.

Cheating is defined as the deliberate use of unauthorized materials and/or actions or fraudulent acquisition in order to obtain information for an examination or assignment.

Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another’s work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one's own written work offered for credit. A student commits plagiarism if he/she:

a. Fails to acknowledge the sources of any information in a paper which is not either common knowledge or personal knowledge. A student can acknowledge a source through in-text citations cross referenced to a works cited page, attribution lines, footnotes, or other forms of documentation approved by the instructor. (Common knowledge is the basic information within a field or discipline, as well as most historical dates and facts, and many ordinary observations.)

b. Fails to acknowledge direct quotation either by using quotation marks or (for longer passages) indentation. Without the quotation marks or indentation, passages copied directly from a source might be considered plagiarized even if it is followed by an in-text citation or a footnote. The citation or footnote acknowledges that there is a source, but it does not indicate that the writer has used someone else’s exact words.

c. Merely paraphrases the original words of the source. Some students think they can avoid a charge of plagiarism by changing a few words in each sentence that they copy or by rearranging the shape of phrases or the order of sentences in a paragraph. This is not true. When taking notes students, must be careful to put ideas in their own words or to use direct quotations when relying on phrases directly taken from a source.

d. Uses the ideas, examples, or structure of the source without acknowledging it. A student can be guilty of plagiarism if he/she systematically borrows the ideas and organization of a source, even if the language of the piece is on a major news event, by using exactly the same ideas in the same order as they appear in an article in any popular news magazine.

e. Takes, buys, or receives a paper written by someone else and presents it as the student’s own.

f. Uses one paper for two different courses, or re-uses a paper previously submitted for credit, without the prior approval of the instructor or instructors.

Collusion is defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work offered for credit or collaboration with another person to commit a violation of any section of these rules on scholastic dishonesty. A student commits collusion if he/she:

a. Allows someone else to edit papers or correct assignments without the instructor’s knowledge or permission. It is scholastically dishonest for students to employ tutors to correct, edit or modify papers or assignments in any substantive fashion. The same reservations and restrictions apply, within reason, to any outside assistance a student may receive from a parent, friend, roommate, or academic tutor. Any changes, deletions, rearrangements, additions, or corrections made in papers or assignments should represent the student’s own work. (Midland College provides many tutorial services. Tutors in these college facilities offer advice without editing or completing the required work.)

b. Reveals test information to another student enrolled in the same course.

If a student has any questions or doubts about the way he/she is employing sources or assistance in any given assignment, he/she is advised to consult the instructor before handing in the assignment. The penalties for any type of scholastic dishonesty described in this statement can be severe and can adversely affect the student’s permanent academic record. The instructor has the primary responsibility for recommending the penalty in cases of academic dishonesty after consultation with the Division Dean and the student. Students may seek review of the decision or redress of a grievance related to their participation in college programs or activities.

The instructor does have the right to enforce any one of the following penalties for scholastic dishonesty at his/ her discretion and in response to each particular case:

1. Failure of the assignment;

2. Failure of the course;

3. Recommendation for disciplinary action, including institutional suspension or dismissal.


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