Maria Cotera
3666 Haven Hall
Ann Arbor, Michigan


Getting Started | Research Tips | Building Your Website | Intellectual Property


Plagiarism is using and passing off as one's own the writings or ideas of another person. It is, in short, a form of intellectual theft that violates the basic ethical standards of any academic community. The cut-and-paste features of modern word processors and web browsers make plagiarism remarkably easy to commit, but this ease does not diminish the severity of the offense. Students working on web-based research projects should be especially vigilant about avoiding the temptation simply to lift material from other online sources into their work. Feel free to incorporate all the links you like to other useful sites you may find on the web. Do not copy their content, though, without proper attribution (which includes full MLA citation). Any web project that is found to contain plagiarized content will receive a failing grade, and its authors may be subject to disciplinary action by the university. The following guidelines, adapted from the English Department's policy statement on plagiarism, may be helpful in clarifying the difference between acceptable and unacceptable "borrowing."Plagiarism occurs when a student submitting academic work:
  • Does not properly attribute words or ideas to their original source.

  • Quotes from another author's writing without citing that author's work.

  • Cites, with quotation marks, portions of another author's work, but uses  more of that work without quotation marks and without attribution.

  • Takes an essay from a site on the Web or a "library" of already-written papers and submits it, in whole or in part, as his or her own work.

  • Steals a paper from another student and then submits that paper as coursework.

  • Submits the same paper twice for two different assignments.

  • Takes the results of another's research and attempts to pass those results off as his or her own work.

Evidence of any of the above behaviors is considered a serious breach of university ethics and will result in severe academic sanctions. Students are strongly encouraged to read the full text of the policy statement  or check with their instructor should any questions remain about these guidelines. Students should also be aware that certain uses of others' work, even with proper attribution, may be subject to copyright law.

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(This information has been brought to you courtesy of Professor David Porter, who developed a number of website production resources for his course on 18th century England. If you'd like to take a look at some really exciting examples of what you can do with this projectcheck out his class website, Eighteenth Century England.)


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