Plagiarism Statements for Syllabus

Encouraging Responsible Research

Plagiarism is an important issue on college campuses today and a topic of great concern for the GW community.  To prevent plagiarism among our students, GW faculty need to take an active part in designing courses that educate our students about the academic conventions of scholarly research.  We can do this by placing a no tolerance statement about plagiarism on our syllabi, educating our students on proper citation practices to avoid accidental plagiarism, and taking steps to deter intentional plagiarism by making our students aware of the GW Code of Academic Integrity

The first step toward preventing plagiarism and encouraging original scholarship is to make students aware of how academic institutions (and this institution in particular) define and address plagiarism, and how and why academic scholarship defines and values originality and intellectual integrity.

Syllabus Statement on Plagiarism

A statement on plagiarism in the syllabus is a necessary, though not sufficient, way to clarify your commitment as an instructor to high standards of academic integrity. Here are two examples of plagiarism statements from the syllabi of GW faculty.

Example 1

Taking the words of others or presenting the ideas of others as your own not only prohibits you from learning the skills of academic research, it also violates the University’s Code of Academic Integrity. The University defines academic dishonesty as “cheating of any kind, including misrepresenting one’s own work, taking credit for the work of others without crediting them and without appropriate authorization, and the fabrication of information.” You can find more information about GW’s Code of Academic Integrity at The minimum penalty for such offenses, whether on a rough or final draft, is to fail the assignment; the more common penalty is to fail the course. [Robbin Zeff, Assistant Professor of Writing and Professional Technology Fellow]

Example 2

Please make yourself familiar with the University’s Code of Academic Integrity ( There will be zero tolerance for plagiarism and cheating. Please note that the Code stipulates that you cannot submit work prepared for another course—if you want to re-use research done in previous courses, discuss details with me before you start on the paper. If you are not sure about how to represent another person’s work in an assignment, contact me for advice before submitting. The code specifies that the minimum sanction for plagiarism is an F on the particular assignment; repeated offenses carry an F for the class as the minimum penalty. Please do not try me on this, I do not want to fail anyone. [Marcus Schaper, Lecturer in Political Science]

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