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George Mason University Honor System and Code

What is Plagiarism?  |  Plagiarism and the Internet  | Copyright Resources

Please familiarize yourself with the Honor System and Code, as stated in the George Mason University Undergraduate Catalog. When you are given an assignment as an individual, the work must be your own. Some of your work may be collaborative; source material for group projects and work of individual group members must be carefully documented for individual contributions. For an overview of the Honor Code, see the explanation below:


To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust, and fairness
among all members of George Mason University, and with the desire for greater
academic and personal achievement, we, the members of George Mason
University, have set forth the following code of honor. 

I. The Honor Committee 

The Honor Committee is a group of students elected from the student body whose
primary and indispensable duty is to instill the concept and spirit of the Honor Code
within the student body. The secondary function of this group is to sit as a hearing
committee on all alleged violations of the code. 

II. Extent of the Honor Code 

The Honor Code of George Mason University deals specifically with cheating and
 attempted cheating, plagiarism, lying, and stealing

A. Cheating encompasses the following: 
1. The willful giving or receiving of an unauthorized, unfair, dishonest, or unscrupulous advantage in academic work over other students.

2. The above may be accomplished by any means whatsoever, including but not limited to the following: fraud; duress; deception; theft; trick; talking; signs; gestures; copying from another student; and the unauthorized use of study aids, memoranda, books, data, or other information. 

3. Attempted cheating. 

B. Plagiarism encompasses the following: 
1. Presenting as one's own the words, the work, or the opinions of someone else without proper acknowledgment. 

2. Borrowing the sequence of ideas, the arrangement of material, or the pattern of thought of someone else without proper acknowledgment. 

C. Lying encompasses the following: 
The willful and knowledgeable telling of an untruth, as well as any form of deceit, attempted deceit, or fraud in an oral or written statement relating to academic work. This includes but is not limited to the following: 
1. Lying to administration and faculty members. 

2. Falsifying any university document by mutilation, addition, or deletion. 

3. Lying to Honor Committee members and counsels during investigation and hearing. This may constitute a second charge, with the committee members who acted as judges during that specific hearing acting as accusers.

D. Stealing encompasses the following: 
Taking or appropriating without the permission to do so, and with the intent to keep or to make use of wrongfully, property belonging to any member of the George Mason University community or any property located on the university campus. This includes misuse of university computer resources (see the Responsible Use of Computing Policy section in the "General Policies" chapter). This section is relevant only to academic work and related materials.
Source: George Mason University Faculty Handbook

For a more complete understanding of what constitutes plagiarism, see the statements below:

Plagiarism Statement

Plagiarism means using the exact words, opinions, or factual information from another person without giving that person credit. Writers give credit through accepted documentation styles, such as parenthetical citation, footnotes, or endnotes; a simple listing of books and articles is not sufficient. Plagiarism is the equivalent of intellectual robbery and cannot be tolerated in an academic setting. Student writers are often confused as to what should be cited. Some think that only direct quotations need to be credited. While direct quotations do need citations, so do paraphrases and summaries of opinions or factual information formerly unknown to the writers or which the writers did not discover themselves. Exceptions for this include factual information which can be obtained from a variety of sources, the writers' own insights or findings from their own field research, and what has been termed common knowledge. What constitutes common knowledge can sometimes be precarious; what is common knowledge for one audience may not be so for another. In such situations, it is helpful, to keep the reader in mind and to think of citations as being "reader friendly." In other words, writers provide a citation for any piece of information that they think their readers might want to investigate further. Not only is this attitude considerate of readers, it will almost certainly ensure that writers will never be guilty of plagiarism. (statement of English Department at George Mason University)

Plagiarism and the Internet

Copyright rules also apply to users of the Internet who cite from Internet sources. Information and graphics accessed electronically must also be cited, giving credit to the sources. This material includes but is not limited to e-mail (don't cite or forward someone else's e-mail without permission), newsgroup material, information from Web sites, including graphics. Even if you give credit, you must get permission from the original source to put any graphic that you did not create on your web page. Shareware graphics are not free. Freeware clipart is available for you to freely use. If the material does not say "free," assume it is not. Putting someone else's Internet material on your web page is stealing intellectual property. Making links to a site is, at this time, okay, but getting permission is strongly advised, since many Web sites have their own requirements for linking to their material. (Virginia Montecino)

What is Plagiarism?  |  Copyright Resources  |  Copyright and the Internet
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