back to PK's courses

   Plagiarism

For a good discussion on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, see the
Colorado Writing Guides page on Understanding Plagiarism.

Here are my own rules on plagiarism, 1, 2 and 3.

1
If any parts of an assignment handed in to me are found to be silently
copied from textbooks, web-sites or other sources, whether word-for-word
or with alterations, I shall treat this as plagiarism (Icel. ritstuldur), and give
a zero grade (F) for that assignment. For a first offense in the first year, I may
allow the assignment to be rewritten. After the first year, when the question of
plagiarism has been discussed in class, I shall give no such leeway.

2
If you are quoting, you must clearly show which sentences or parts of
sentences are taken from your source, using quotation marks or offsetting a
paragraph. Failure to do this constitutes plagiarism. Quotations must be
fully referenced with author, title, and page numbers. If you are quoting from
web-sites you must state the NAME of the website (for identification with a
search engine such as Google) or the URL. You shoul also give the date on
which the site was accessed.
See my Stylesheet for suggestions on how to do this.

3
Remember that plagiarism is a punishable offense according to the rules of
the university, according to Icelandic law, and according to international law.
The rules laid down by the School of Humanities on plagiarism are to be found
here : http://www.hi.is/is/hugvisindasvid/um_svidid/misnotkun_heimilda

and in English:
http://www.hi.is/en/school_of_humanities/about_the_school/plagiarism_policy

4

Finally, even if you are referencing correctly,

always ask yourself, "Should I really use this quotation?"

Remember that quotations should not replace your own writing; but rather illustrate
or occasion points you are making. Admittedly you are not plagiarising if you
quote correctly, but you may still be guilty of letting other people do your work for you.
    Sometimes, a writer says something so strikingly that you want to share
their wording with your readers. When this happens, do it decisively:

        These "stylistic contiguities", as Andrew Wawm calls them (2006:475) .....

But if you are using the writer's wording instead of your own, even if your
code of referencing is impeccable, you are simply being lazy. There's no
point in taking the English BA if you're not prepared to flex your linguistic
muscles. At this level, nobody's going to be interested in your copy-paste skills.


pk, 28 August 2003
Updated 10 Jan 2012

back to Pétur Knútsson's home page