Plagiarism

Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being (your) the student’s own work. The act of plagiarizing, then, is taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were (your) the student’s own.

Rationale

The issue of plagiarism is not new, but has become an increasingly difficult one due to the ease with which students can “cut and paste” from the Internet. It is essential for students to both understand what plagiarism is, and why it is such a serious offence. Besides the obvious lack of honesty involved, consequences can include being expelled from a university or college.

Background

In Grades 9 and 10, students are thoroughly taught to understand what plagiarism is. It is a form of stealing someone else’s work. It is also an attempt to deceive the teacher into thinking that the work belongs to the student, and rewarding work with a grade that is not the work of the student. As such, plagiarism is treated as a type of deliberate lying in the QCHS discipline system.

Consequences

Please note that we do our best to provide guidelines for consequences. This cannot remove completely the wisdom and discretion of the teacher, as there are always situations that are not as cut and dried.

Grades 9 and 10

Teachers work with students in a discipleship capacity to train them to recognize and avoid plagiarism. When a student commits an act of plagiarism, the consequences depend on the severity and type of plagiarism. For instance, a student may have done mostly his/her own work but may have a couple of sentences that have been “cut and pasted” and have not been cited. This is different from the essay that is largely “cut and pasted”, or largely paraphrased without being cited.

First Offence

  • The teacher clearly reviews the meaning of plagiarism and how to avoid it.
  • If more than 30% of the assignment has been plagiarized, then the student must redo the assignment, and the new assignment is marked out of 50% of the original assignment.
  • If less than 30% of the assignment has been plagiarized, then the student must redo the assignment, and the new assignment is marked out of 70% of the original assignment.
  • This allows for the opportunity for the teacher to keep building the kind of relationship with the student that allows the student the opportunity to be open and honest with the teacher.

Second Offence

  • The teacher writes this up and it is dealt with by the vice principal.
  • The assignment must be redone, and the new assignment is marked out of 50% of the original assignment.

Grades 11 and 12

A senior student who commits an act of plagiarism will receive a zero for the assignment. Each large assignment (ISU) is broken up into a number of stages, in which the student submits a stage of the assignment. This may be a list of sources used, a set of rough notes, an initial rough draft, a second draft, and a final copy. Marks are awarded for each stage of the assignment. It is essential that the student submit each stage of a large assignment. This is a proactive method of assisting the student to avoid plagiarism. Should the student choose to submit only the final draft, any evidence of plagiarism would result in a zero for the assignment. The student would not be permitted to redo the assignment. The student needs to realize that this is a major breach and is likely to affect their final mark considerably.