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Macdonald DeWitt Library at SUNY Ulster

Plagiarism: what is it, how to avoid it: Plagiarism Definition and Academic Honesty Policy @ SUNY Ulster

Current academic honesty policy for students at SUNY Ulster

Student Academic Honesty

Student Responsibilities:

Academic honesty means that students are expected to do their own work and follow the rules regarding acts such as cheating and plagiarism.  It is the student’s responsibility to maintain academic honesty. That is, ignorance of the standards of academic honesty is not an acceptable excuse for breaking these standards.

Academic dishonesty- breaking the standards of academic honesty- is taken very seriously by the College. Breaking the rules of academic honesty will result in immediate disciplinary consequences.  Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

1. Cheating on examinations or quizzes. Examples include (a) referring to materials that the instructor has not allowed to be used during the test, such as textbooks or notes or websites; (b) using devices the instructor has not allowed to be used during the test, such as cell phones, text messages, or calculators; and (c) copying from another student’s paper or asking another student for an answer.

2. Plagiarism. Plagiarism means the use of words or ideas that are obtained from other sources without giving credit to those sources. Not only do quotations have to be referenced, but also any use of the ideas of others, even if expressed in the student’s own words, must be referenced. The College has a service to check for plagiarism. Any student paper can be submitted for this plagiarism check.

3. Submission of work that is not entirely the student’s own work. Having another person write a paper or parts of a paper is one example of this offense; allowing another student to copy test answers is another example.

4. Theft or sale of examinations, falsification of academic records, and similar offenses.

5. Submitting work to more than one class. For example, a student who submits to an English class a paper previously turned in to a philosophy class is in violation of academic honesty, unless the English instructor has given permission for the duplicate submission.

6. Unauthorized duplication of computer software or print materials. For example, turning in a term paper downloaded from a website is a violation of academic honesty.

7. Influence. A student should not attempt to get an instructor to change a grade or record for any reason except achievement. For example, trying to get an instructor to change a grade because of personal hardship- or because of a bribe- is a violation of academic honesty.

8. Practice of any other form of academic dishonesty not included in this list.

Judicial Procedures

In all cases, the objective is to provide fundamental fairness to the student. It is the responsibility of the instructor to present adequate evidence in support of charges of academic dishonesty. When a student has been notified of possible academic dishonesty, the following procedures will be followed:

1. The instructor will discuss with the student the particular offense of academic dishonesty, and the student will have the opportunity to respond.

2. If the instructor finds the student’s response unsatisfactory, the instructor must file an official report with the Associate Dean of Student Services, together with the evidence of dishonesty.

3. The Associate Dean of Student Services will schedule a meeting with the student to review and clarify the College’s policy on academic honesty. At this time, the student will sign a statement indicating that he or she understands the issue and its seriousness, and that he or she will be dismissed from the College if a second offense is reported.

4. The student may appeal within ten (10) school days after this disciplinary action. The appeal must be made in writing to the Associate Dean of Student Services.

5. The Associate Dean of Student Services will schedule a time and place for the student and instructor to meet with the Academic Review Committee.

6. The hearing should provide a fair inquiry into the truth or falsity of the charges. Both the student and the instructor may provide witnesses or other relevant support at this meeting. A written record must be made of the proceedings.

7. After consideration of the evidence, the Academic Review Committee will make its recommendation to the Dean of Academic Affairs and the Associate Dean of Student Services.

8. The decision made by the Dean of Academic Affairs is, in all cases, final.

9. The Associate Dean of Student Services will then transmit to the student and the instructor copies of all actions taken by the Academic Review Committee, the Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Associate Dean of Student Services.


It is the responsibility of all parties to take prompt action in order that charges can be resolved quickly and fairly.


  • Depending upon the circumstances, any first offense will result in one of the following actions
  • Repetition of the assignment or examination
  • A failing grade for the assignment or examination,
  • A failing grade for the course, or
  • Suspension or dismissal from the program.

Any second offense will result in dismissal from the College for a period of time not less than one calendar year.