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Avoiding Plagiarism: Academic Integrity @ Butler

Butler's Academic Integrity Policy

Butler's plagiarism policy is found within the Butler University Student Handbook and is found under Academic Integrity.  Here is the full text of the policy:

"Academic Integrity

Butler University is an academic community. It exists for the sake of the advancement of knowledge; the pursuit of truth; the intellectual, ethical and social development of students and the general well being of society. All members of our community have an obligation to themselves, to their peers and to the institution to uphold the integrity of Butler University. In the area of academic integrity, this means that one's work should be one's own and that the instructor's evaluation should be based on the student's own efforts and under-standing. When the standards of academic integrity are breached, mutual trust is undermined, the ideals of personal responsibility and autonomy are violated, teaching and learning are severely compromised and other goals of the academic community cannot be realized.

Students are responsible for being fully aware of what constitutes academic dishonesty; claims of ignorance cannot be used to justify or rationalize dishonest acts. Academic dishonesty can take a number of forms, including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, facilitation and interference:

Cheating includes receiving or giving help on papers, experiments, reports, compositions, projects or examinations without the instructor's permission. It also includes submitting part of or all of the completed assignment of another student as one's own work. Of special note and concern is the use of purchased research papers. It is a violation of the regulations of Butler University for a student to purchase a term paper. Cheating is also using unauthorized materials and aids, such as books, one's own notes or those of another and calculators during an examination.

Plagiarism is the fraudulent misrepresentation of any part of another person's work as one's own. Submitting any writing, including take-home exams, that does not properly acknowledge the quoting or paraphrasing of another person's words, or that fails to give proper credit for another person's ideas, opinion, or theory is plagiarism. Any unacknowledged use of sources to which one is indebted including but not limited to, music, video, audio, theatre projects, compositions, website and computer software constitutes plagiarism.

Fabrication is the falsification or invention of information or data in reports, lab results, bibliographies or any other academic undertaking.

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty involves assisting someone in an act of dishonesty.

Interference includes the theft, alteration, destruction or obstruction of another student's work. Interference may take the form of the theft, defacements or destruction of resources, e.g., library periodicals and books, so as to deprive other students of information.

The requirements of academic integrity also extend to academic activities involving computers and networks and unethical/unprofessional conduct specific to academic programs. For more information, refer to the "Rights and Responsibilities" section of the student handbook, section VI.

A person who violates the standards of academic integrity undermines the values integral to the educational mission of Butler University. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense, harming both the community and the perpetrator, and Butler University has, accordingly, adopted procedures for dealing with possible in-stances of academic dishonesty (Procedures found in the Rights and Responsibility section)."

   Source: Butler University Student Handbook Academic Policies

Consequences of Plagiarism

According to the Butler University Academic Integrity policy, the following can result from plagiarism:

  • Letter grade mark down for the assignment
  • Failing grade for the assignment
  • Letter grade mark down for the course
  • Failing grade in the course
  • Suspension or dismissal for the University for repeated offenses

Most penalties are determined by the professor and the academic guidelines laid out by the departments and colleges. Check with your individual instructors and read the syllabus to learn about the specific penalties of each class. 

Source: Butler University Student Handbook Academic Policies


Self-plagiarism is possible and it's just as serious.

Self-plagiarism, or "double-dipping," is deception and goes against the core principles of ethical writing. Papers are assigned for you to demonstrate what you have learned in a particular class. If you reuse a paper you wrote for a previous class, you are not demonstrating new learning.

Examples of self-plagiarism:

  • Turning in a paper for a current class that you already submitted as an assignment for a previous class
  • Using a substantial amount of a paper written for another course as content for a new assignment
  • Treating anything you've previously written as if it were new material

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