Foundation and Student Responsibility
Regent University affirms the Biblical truth that God made men and women in His own image. Part of God’s essence is His social nature, reflected best in the perfect society of the Trinity. God seeks community with men and women, and because of God’s concern with community among men and women, He has provided them with laws to govern community. One such law prohibits a person from stealing the property of another. That is, God in His divine wisdom has chosen to protect private property by prohibiting its theft by others. Part of a person’s property is the product of his/her intellect and creativity. Another law of God to guide people in community is honesty, which prohibits deceit, fraud, or dishonesty. Both of these laws are a reflection of God’s love, and we reflect love to both God and our fellow men and women by following these laws. Both of these laws are the foundation for this Academic Integrity Policy.
Students are responsible for knowing what constitutes plagiarism, how to avoid it, and what constitutes dishonesty. Students are also responsible for understanding that, if they allow a fellow student to cheat or plagiarize, or if they complete an assignment for a fellow student, they are accomplices to academic dishonesty and are subject to the same penalty.
This policy is purposely found in the Student Handbook, and it is referenced in the catalog and the Faculty & Academic Policy Handbook. A student’s failure to know this policy is not a defense. Moreover, a lack of understanding of what constitutes dishonesty, plagiarism, and/or a lack of intent (e.g., that the student did not intend to copy the material into his/her paper) is not a defense. Finally, failure to follow the procedural deadlines in the appeals section will result in the dismissal of the appeal.
Conduct that violates the Academic Honor Code includes the following:
1. Dishonesty. This lack of integrity is exhibited through lying, cheating, defrauding, or deceiving. Examples of dishonesty include copying from the examination paper of another, allowing one's own examination paper to be copied, reading without the instructor's consent a copy of the examination prior to the date it is given; giving or receiving unauthorized aids; submitting the same work product in more than one course without the express permission of the instructor(s); or disclosing or accepting information about test questions or answers if one takes a test at a different time than other students in the same course.
2. Plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the intellectual property (e.g., books, articles, artwork, movies, drawings, ideas, and photos) of others without proper citation thereby giving the impression that it is the student's own work. Plagiarism ranges from a failure to acknowledge one’s indebtedness to another for an idea in a formal written or oral statement to using verbatim words, sentences, passages, or audiovisual material from the work of others without quotation marks and proper citation (a rule of thumb is to use quotation protocol for five or more words taken directly from another source). Other examples of plagiarism include having someone else (e.g., colleague, friend, relative, or writing service) write a paper that is then submitted by the student for class credit and purchasing and submitting a paper from an online source. Gibaldi (1998) defines plagiarism well:
Whenever you draw on another’s work, you must specify what you borrowed whether facts, opinions, or quotations and where you borrowed it from. Using another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source constitutes plagiarism. . . . In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you wrote or thought something that you in fact borrowed from someone, and to do so is a violation of professional ethics. (p. 151)
Plagiarism is a pervasive threat to academic integrity because of the emergence and expansion of the Internet. Any time a student downloads content from the Internet or any electronic document, the student risks committing plagiarism. The student must summarize or paraphrase the material first (with, of course, proper citation) rather than simply cutting and pasting blocks of downloaded text in his/her paper without using quotation marks.
Because of the importance of ensuring academic integrity, the University has subscribed to academic integrity within Blackboard. The University has asked its instructors to submit student papers to the scrutiny of academic integrity software at their discretion including when they suspect the presence of plagiarism in a student’s paper. Note that these submissions of assignments to such software do not necessarily constitute an accusation or suspicion of plagiarism.
Penalties and processes regarding violations of the Academic Honor Code are described in full in the University Faculty Handbook on pages 65 -69.