Student Responsibility in Academic Writing
Students writing in an academic setting are responsible for approaching all assignments with rigor, integrity, and in compliance with the University Code of Student Conduct. This responsibility includes:
- consulting and analyzing sources that are relevant to the topic of inquiry;
- clearly acknowledging when they draw from the ideas or the phrasing of those sources in their own writing;
- learning and using appropriate citation conventions within the field in which they are studying; and
- asking their instructor for guidance when they are uncertain of how to acknowledge the contributions of others in their thinking and writing.
When students fail to adhere to these responsibilities, they may intentionally or unintentionally “usesomeone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without properly acknowledging its source" http://wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf. When the act is intentional, the student has engaged in plagiarism.
Plagiarism is an act of academic misconduct, which carries with it consequences including but not limited to receiving a course grade of “F” and a report to the Office of the Dean of Students. Unfortunately, it is not always clear if the misuse of sources is intentional or unintentional, which means that you may be accused of plagiarism even if you do not intentionally plagiarize. If you have any questions regarding use and citation of sources in your academic writing, you are responsible for consulting with your instructor before the assignment due date. In addition, you can work with an MSU Writing Center tutor at any point in your writing process, including when you are integrating or citing sources. You can make an appointment and find citation resources at www.montana.edu/writingcenter.
Matt Caires, Dean of Students & Michelle Miley, Director of the MSU Writing Center
(For Faculty: For more information regarding the definition of plagiarism and your responsibilities for helping students learn how to appropriately use and cite sources, please see “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices,” http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf.)