Academic Integrity

As a body of scholars in the humanities, department faculty recognize an obligation to define and exemplify high standards of professional conduct, and to uphold these standards in department courses, examinations, and dissertations.

Each student should become familiar with the University Handbook on Academic Integrity. Breaches of academic integrity will be dealt with severely and may be considered grounds for termination from the graduate program. Such breaches include the following:

  • Plagiarism (see below);
  • Relying in examinations on unauthorized notes or materials;
  • Copying another's work in order to submit it as one's own;
  • Soliciting aid or assistance in an attempt to cheat;
  • Assisting in any way, including passive nonintervention, another's attempt to cheat.

It is everyone's responsibility to bring observed violations of academic integrity to the immediate attention of the faculty person in charge, whether openly or in confidence. In serious cases, a graduate-faculty committee will be convened in order to examine the matter and to recommend as to consequences. Departmental recommendations, as all administrative actions, are subject to University provisions relating to administrative adjudication and appeal.

Plagiarism, like most forms of academic-integrity violations, consists in relying on the work of another without giving due acknowledgment to it. Any of the following acts constitutes plagiarism:

  • copying the words of another without giving due credit;
  • copying the thoughts or ideas of another without giving due credit;
  • copying or relying on the products of another's research (whether data, methods, bibliography, references, etc.) without giving due credit;
  • understating the extent of one's indebtedness to the work of another.

One should be aware that laxity of scholarly method often results in the appearance of plagiarism, difficult to distinguish from plagiarism itself. In order to avoid misunderstanding, it is essential that one be fully conversant with the mechanics of scholarly citation and reference pertinent to a given discipline. A standard guide is the MLA Handbook.