Plagiarism is an intentional act of academic dishonesty and intellectual theft. “Flagrant plagiarism” occurs when complete portions of one or more written texts are copied, but no quotation marks are used to indicate that the words have been borrowed even if a citation of the source has , or has not, been included. “Disguised plagiarism” happens when the original text is “disguised” by changing only a few words, even if a citation is included.

Whether flagrant or disguised, plagiarism is a serious academic offence. The texts and materials borrowed from others must be acknowledged. The acknowledgment must include quotation marks around the material used, and a notation giving specific source information. Web citations must include sources as well as the date and time of access.

 Procedures and Penalties:

  • Faculty Discretion : Instructors have the discretion to distinguish between plagiarism and errors in citation that appear to be harmless and inadvertent. If academic dishonesty is not suspected, the instructor may choose to give a verbal warning, or suggest a rewrite, with penalty, regarding the mistake. However, the instructor may also choose to seek consultation with the Chair of the Department to determine if formal reporting is appropriate.
  •  Formal Reporting : If a faculty member believes that a student has engaged in plagiarism or related forms of academic dishonesty (such as submitting the same paper in two separate courses or submitting a paper completed in a previous course), the instructor will begin formal reporting procedures.
  • The instructor gathers the evidence of academic dishonesty.
  • The instructor notifies the Chair of the Department and the student of the suspected offence and schedules a meeting for the three parties to discuss the issue.
  • If the Chair finds that an offence has occurred, the Chair will write a recommendation outlining the case and the penalty to the Academic Dean .
  • After the Dean's Office has reviewed the case with the student, and if the Dean concurs with the Department, the instructor and/or the College will institute the agreed upon penalties.
  • Penalties: Penalties will reflect the severity of the offence. The instructor may recommend a penalty as light as a zero on the assignment, but instructors also may recommend course failure (even in first-offence cases) where gross and substantial plagiarism has clearly occurred . Penalties may include consequences as severe as expulsion from the College. See the UWO Academic Calendar under “Academic Rights and Responsibilities.”
Plagiarism Checking: UWO uses software for checking submitted work. Students may be required to submit their written work in electronic form.