1. Be sure you understand the assignment. If you have ANY questions, do not hesitate to ASK the instructor or TA.
2. Be sure you understand the definition of PLAGIARISM:
To PLAGIARIZE is to “steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own without crediting the source; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source,” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1989, 898.).
Many assignments will require you to incorporate other writers’ words and ideas. If given permission by the instructor or TA to consult those writers, go ahead, but be sure to cite them. If you are not sure how to use the material you have, ASK or CHECK A WRITING GUIDE (i.e. MLA, APA, Chicago, you might try the Style Sheet from the Department of English, available in the ASUCLA Book Store) before submitting the work for credit.
3. Be sure you understand the CONSEQUENCES of plagiarism:
a) When you plagiarize, you hand in work that is not your own. When you plagiarize, you sabotage the quality of your education and the learning experience.
b) When you plagiarize, you steal, just as if you took something from a store. Plagiarism is different in effect, however, because the University assumes that each grade represents that student’s own work. When you plagiarize, you undermine the value of a degree from UCLA.
c) When you plagiarize, chances are good that you will be caught. If you are caught, chances are very good that you will be suspended from the University. Consider the impact on your financial aid? Your time to a degree? Your plans to attend graduate school? Your career plans? Your housing? Your family and friends?
4. If you are stuck and unable to work through the assignment, there are alternatives to plagiarizing:
a) Visit the College Tutorials, 228 Covel Commons (206-1491). There, you can get one-on-one help with writing skills, grammar, topic development — anything involved in writing a paper.
b) Visit your instructor or teaching assistant — make an appointment or visit them during office hours. There are no dumb questions when it comes to assuring that your work is honest.
5. If you know of someone who is plagiarizing an assignment, confront the person and/or tell the instructor. Papers that are plagiarized will impact the grading curve. It is in your best interest if everyone does his or her own work.
Be advised that instructors are required by the Academic Senate to refer cases of suspected plagiarism to the Office of the Dean of Students. Penalties for plagiarism can include Suspension or Dismissal from the University.