University Library provides plagiarism workshops, guides for students

By Julian Mitchell

The Department of Student Conduct and Integrity hosted a plagiarism workshop, which showed students what plagiarism looks like and how to avoid plagiarizing others and yourself.

Yes, it is possible to plagiarize yourself.

Dr. Susan E. Ashe, Director of the Office of Student Conduct & Integrity, enlightened students about the various types of plagiarism that are common among students.

“Even though you may have written a paper for another class, it does not mean that your current professor will approve of self-citation,” Ashe said.

During the workshop, Ashe encouraged students to reach out to their professors to see what the “boundaries” are of any assignment.

As mentioned previously, while self-citation is not encouraged, speaking to the professor can help clear up any misconstrued ideas about what could be acceptable to use from past classes.

“30 percent of the academic dishonesty cases, we see, are plagiarism,” Ashe said.

Ashe is in charge of keeping a record of which students are guilty of all counts of academic dishonesty.

In the workshop, students were compelled to consider various types of plagiarism.

Many had to decide whether something was in fact plagiarism or not.

Often times, plagiarism can be as simple as citing your sources to resolve any issues.

Throughout the workshop, Ashe recommended various ways to avoid plagiarizing, such as creating a timeline of assignments and their due dates.

“The quarter system moves fast,” Ashe said. “It’s easy to become overwhelmed, and then it seems too easy to just copy something.”

Ashe also encouraged students to use both online resources and campus resources, including the Learning Resource Center where tutors can help writers develop their original ideas.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab website was also referenced throughout the workshop because it is a useful source for citation information.

According to Plagiarism.org, 36 percent of college students admitted to using an Internet source and not citing it.

If students are caught plagiarizing, the professor of the class will address the situation and then inform the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity.

Once the issue is addressed, the student will have some type of disciplinary action, which ideally would include attending workshops on campus for plagiarism or for writing practice.

Ashe made it known that even though there are some instances that have to be handled with penalization, her goal for all students is to learn and grow from their mistakes.

She also added that Cal Poly Pomona has a low rate of repeat offenders.

While disciplinary action is not always the immediate consequence for academic dishonesty, Ashe explained that after failure of a class three separate times, the student will no longer be allowed to take that class.

Another plagiarism workshop will be held on Nov. 6 during U-Hour.

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