Academic Conduct


  • It is very important that anyone submitting written work for a course (or any other purpose) give credit where credit is due. That is, you should not claim as your own ideas and work which are not. Giving proper credit is very easy, through the use of annotation (footnotes, endnotes, citations in parentheses, all with specific page numbers, unless the source is a web page where there are no such numbers) and the inclusion of a bibliography of works consulted. In the first instance, this means that all quotations must be identified as such either by the use of quotation marks or by single-spaced indented paragraphs (for long quotations). Furthermore, a precis of another author's work (that is, following most of it but just changing the occasional word) must be acknowledged as such and annotated. Including in your bibliography a reference to a source from which you may have plagiarized does not of itself absolve you of the requirement to identify quotations and precis. While the norm for documenting specific kinds of evidence is a bit less clear, generally the sources for unique facts (as opposed to something which might be "common knowledge") should be documented as well.
  • Not to identify and provide credit for quoted work or precis is plagiarism, which is unacceptable at the University of Washington. If plagiarism is determined by the instructor, the given piece of work is considered not to have completed the assignment (in this course all written assignments must be completed) and must be re-written properly in order for the student to be eligible to receive course credit. Failure to submit a properly re-written item of work that has been plagiarized, or a second plagiarism offense in doing so or in another required course essay will result in the grade for the quarter being witheld, and the evidence will be turned over to the University Committe for Academic Misconduct which has the responsibility for imposing appropriate penalties. If that committee agrees that there has been misconduct, that fact then becomes part of your permanent academic record.
  • Apart from the ethical issues, one of the considerations here is that you do not really learn anything by copying others' work. You can substantially enhance your understanding of the material, and in the process write much better papers than otherwise, if you absorb what you read and then develop your thoughts in your own words. Even where the required formalities about citation are observed, papers which consist of a string of quotations generally are not going to receive as high a grade as those which show some real effort to synthesize and say it in your own words.
  • For additional information on what constitutes plagiarism, click here.
  • Courtesy in discussion.

    The other area of academic conduct which I shall note here concerns exchanges with your peers in class and in any electronic discussion which may form part of course requirements. It is important that such exchanges be civil and to the point. Personal or inflammatory remarks are not acceptable. Criticism is fine, providing that it is politely worded and constructive; in fact the whole point of having the discussion forum is to benefit from others' suggestions and sharpen your own critical skills. If there are instances of inappropriate postings, the instructor will ask the offending party to desist. Further such conduct will result in a request that the individual withdraw from the course.