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Many schools across the country have adopted Internet plagiarism policies for their students.
The most common form of school policies share certain traits, such as defining plagiarism and listing the
penalties that go along with infractions. Plagiarism penalties are often tiered, with the punishments
increasing in severity beyond the first offense. The rules regarding Internet plagiarism for the English
Department in California¶s Oxnard High School is highly representative of this group of policies.
³academic theft´ (OHS Plagiarism Policy). Following this section, the policy then goes on to define
plagiarism, telling students that all sources must be documented, including those taken ³from the
Internet´ (OHS Plagiarism Policy). Once the meaning of plagiarism has been clearly established, the
policy then lists penalties, which increase in severity with each incident. In Oxnard High School, the
first offense results in a parent conference, a zero on the assignment, and a conduct report that the parent
has to sign. The second incident carries the same penalties as the first, with the difference being a
³plagiarism contract´ which must be signed by both the student and the parents (OHS Plagiarism
Policy). The third offense carries the most severe penalty with the student receiving an ³F´ in the course
and removal from class.
The OHS Policy has several merits. It clearly defines the meaning of plagiarism in a concise
manner. In fact, it uses a dictionary definition of the term to go along with the school¶s explanation of
the term. Also, the punishments for infractions are specifically stated so that there will be no confusion
as to the consequences of plagiarism. Punishments are listed in a hierarchy, so that repercussions for the
First Offence are dramatically less severe than those for the Third Offence. Another merit of this policy
is that it is easily located on the school¶s web site. In fact, it is listed as a separate link within the
policies. The icon at the top of the page shows a picture of a pencil and a computer cord, suggesting that
this policy covers traditional writing assignments, as well as those involving the Internet.
While the OHS Policy has several strengths, they are far outweighed by its weaknesses. While
there is a definition of plagiarism on the page, there should be a specific section dealing with plagiarism
on the Internet. There is no acceptable Internet use clause that states appropriate and inappropriate use
of on-line resources. There should be a whole policy listed which clearly highlights the issues which
come into play when the Internet is used for academic writing and research, such as copyright laws,
paper mills (the purchasing of research papers on-line), and proper citations. This policy fails to
properly teach students how to include Internet resources within their documents. This, in turn, severely
handicaps students in their future academic endeavors. Unfortunately, these are the same issues that
plague almost all of the Internet policies which schools currently employ.

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Washington state¶s Kent school district has a Technology Integration web site that incorporates
the issue of plagiarism into its policies. This is part of the districts stated mission, which is to bring ³21st
Century Skills to every student´ (Kent County Schools, ³Technology Integration´). To meet this goal,
the school created a massive web site with links to county and IT documents and worldwide web
resources. The Model Plagiarism Policy for school-level use informs readers that, ³You have something
important to say. . . . You become smarter and more capable when you do your own writing and
thinking instead of just cutting and pasting´ (Kent County Schools, ³Technology Integration´). Like the
previous sites, the definition of plagiarism is present as are the consequences for violating district
policies. The ³Copyright and Plagiarism Resources´ section of the document has many links, including
those to copyright free music, resources for printing, and the code of best practices in fair use for media
literacy education. Under the heading, ³Kent District Resources Available for Printing,´ links to intra-
district policies are included, such as those to copyright permission forms, copyright and plagiarism
brochures, and personal sites fliers which explain copyrights in regard to social networks.
Kent school district has an amazing policy with many links to offer extra information for parents,
teachers, and students. The information is kid-friendly and explains concepts on a level so that a student
reading the web page could comprehend the meaning. For example, large lessons in life are stated as
maxims that students can clearly grasp, like, ³Become famous for smart thinking, not cheating´ (Kent
School District Technology Integration). This site, by far dwarfs all others in terms of information
incorporated regarding Internet plagiarism and copyright law. Resources are readily available for
printing and using in the classroom directly from the site. Teachers who are unaware of district policies
could feel adequately prepared to deal with plagiarism and copyright issues in the classroom just by
accessing and studying the site. The ³Printable Information and Additional Web Links´ section is
particularly impressive because, in addition to curriculum resources, there are links to tutorials,
guidelines, copyright and fair use pyramids, and even one for Disney clips. These are only a few of the
positive highlights offered by this site.
While this site ranks superior to others studied, there is room for improvement. The portion
detailing the consequences for plagiarism is vague and needs further elaboration. There are progressive
hierarchical movements from a lesser punishment to a more severe level. While the site offers much
needed external links, there should be more original content listed on the Kent District pages. It seems
that the basis of the document relies primarily on the content of other sources.
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Arp Independent School District in Texas has a massive Technology Integration web site with
a plethora of county links and power point presentations addressing practically all issues within the
AUP, including plagiarism. In order to use the Internet, students must pass a test to receive their
³Internet Driver¶s License.´ To begin the process, the student and parents must sign the AUP Contract.
The Contract is returned and signed by the teacher who becomes responsible for monitoring student¶s
Internet behavior and usage. Next, the AUP is taught by the teacher using the countywide booklet and
power-points (including the one on plagiarism). The appropriate grade-level test is given and if the
student passes it, a permission slip (signed by both parents and teachers) is signed and given to the
building technology personnel. Finally, the student is allowed to use the Internet. Internet misbehavior
has consequences, which are tiered from level one to level four. Punishments for infractions vary from
level to level. For example, a step two offense could result in loss of network access for two to six
weeks. The most serious level four infraction calls for the involvement of law enforcement authorities
and restitution. The plagiarism policy power point clearly defines the term and states that, according to
http://www.Plagiarism.org ³Recent studies indicate that approximately 30 percent of all students may
be plagiarizing on every written assignment they complete´ (Arp ISD Power Points). The slides also
include teacher resources for links to web sites for preventing plagiarism at http://turnitin.com. The Arp
ISD Acceptable Use Policies power point also addresses plagiarism and copyright issues.
The Arp ISD website has several strengths. All the documents and resources needed by
classroom teachers, especially those related to the internet, plagiarism policies, and AUP policies, are
posted within the website. The process is clearly defined and there are links to www resources as well.
The ARP ISD site is the most detailed site I have seen thus far. Virtually all questions that parents,
students, and teachers may have are answered on this site.
This site¶s greatest strength, its wealth of information for users, is also its greatest weakness. In
fact, the site¶s is so enormous that it becomes a chore to find what you need. For example, the
plagiarism policy is scattered throughout the website and embedded within other policies. It would be
much more efficient if the District¶s plagiarism policy and everything about it was concisely discussed
on only one page under a heading entitled, ³Plagiarism.´ Unlike the other sites I visited, there is no page
where the plagiarism policy is posted and the consequences are listed! The headings are so numerous
that nothing is linked appropriately. This clearly seems to be a case of quantity over quality.
According to Dictionary.com, plagiarism occurs when, ³a writer duplicates another writer's
language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers' words as their
legal property. To avoid the charge of plagiarism, writers take care to credit those from whom they
borrow and quote´ (Dictionary.com). Students often are unaware when they are plagiarizing. Recent
studies, reported Plagiarism.org, suggests that ³approximately 30 percent of all students may be
plagiarizing on every written assignment they complete´ (Plagiarism.org).
Anytime the ideas or thoughts of someone else are used you must tell the reader where your
information came from. This is called citing. Your teacher will tell you the proper way to do this.

IF YOU. . . .
*copy another person¶s homework,
* copy and paste from the Internet
* buy a paper from the Internet, or
* collaborate with others to do your work

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Teachers and students should be aware that there are many types of plagiarism and they come in a
variety of forms. Some of the various types of plagiarism are found below in a list taken from

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1. "The Ghost Writer"
The writer turns in another's work, word-for-word, as his or her own.
2. "The Photocopy"
The writer copies significant portions of text straight from a single source, without
3. "The Potluck Paper"
Disguising plagiarism by copying from several different sources, tweaking sentences,
and making them fit together while retaining most of the original phrasing.
4. "The Poor Disguise"
Although the writer has retained the essential content of the source, he or she has altered
the paper's appearance slightly by changing key words and phrases.
5. "The Labor of Laziness"
The writer takes the time to paraphrase most of the paper from other sources and make
it all fit together, instead of spending the same effort on original work.
6. "The Self-Stealer"
The writer "borrows" generously from his or her previous work, violating policies
concerning the expectation of originality adopted by most academic institutions.

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1. "The Forgotten Footnote"
The writer mentions an author's name for a source, but neglects to include specific
information on the location of the material referenced. This often masks other forms of
plagiarism by obscuring source locations.
2. "The Misinformer"
The writer provides inaccurate information regarding the sources, making it impossible
to find them.
3. "The Too-Perfect Paraphrase"
The writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has
been copied word-for-word, or close to it. Although attributing the basic ideas to the
source, the writer is falsely claiming original presentation and interpretation of the
4. "The Resourceful Citer"
The writer properly cites all sources, paraphrasing and using quotations appropriately.
The catch? The paper contains almost no original work! It is sometimes difficult to spot
this form of plagiarism because it looks like any other well-researched document.
5. "The Perfect Crime"
Well, we all know it doesn't exist. In this case, the writer properly quotes and cites
sources in some places, but goes on to paraphrase other arguments from those sources
without citation. This way, the writer tries to pass off the paraphrased material as his or
her own analysis of the cited material.

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Another type of plagiarism that has moved to the forefront of education involves the Internet. This
massive problem affects both teachers and students ranging from elementary school all the way through

IF YOU. . . .
*purchase papers on the Internet either from a person or a paper mill
*sell a paper to another person to use as their own you are aiding in plagiarism
*copy and paste text into your document and do not cite
*copy work from online databases, encyclopedias, web-sites or any online venue and do not
*paraphrase content and do not cite
*take any item that is not your original work and turn it in as your own without proper citation

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„? All teachers are responsible for making their students aware of the countywide Acceptable Use
„? The student must complete the appropriate grade level AUP quiz.
„? When a passing score is earned, the student prints out the permission slip acknowledging that
the/she child has completed and passed the appropriate test. Student, parents, and the teacher
must sign the permission form that is then returned to IT personnel. Next, the student will be
assigned a login name and password. They now have their Internet Driver¶s License and are
allowed to use the Internet with a sponsoring teacher. (This section is adapted from Arp ISD)

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23  :
„? Phone call to parents
„? A zero on the plagiarized assignment
„? Removal from school internet access up to 2 weeks

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„? Phone call to parents
„? A zero on the plagiarized assignment
„? Written reprimand, signed by parents, will be placed in student¶s permanent folder
„? Removal from internet access 6 weeks
„? Phone call to parents
„? F in class
„? Written reprimand, signed by parents, will be placed in student¶s permanent folder
„? Internet ban for the rest of the school year

If, at any time, students use the Internet for malicious deeds, intentionally cause harm, or
purposefully access inappropriate web sites charges will be pressed.

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I understand and will abide by Barrow County Acceptable Use Policy Guidelines. I further understand
that any violation of the regulations is unethical and may constitute a Policy offense and/or may
constitute a criminal offense. Should I commit any violation, my access privilege to any or all Barrow
County computers and/or technologies may be revoked, school disciplinary actions may be taken, and I
may be subject to appropriate legal actions.

STUDENT NAME (Print) _____________________________ GRADUATION YEAR_______

STUDENT SIGNATURE: ________________________ DATE: _________

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(If student is under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must also read and sign the agreement.)

As a parent or guardian of this student, I have read the Barrow County School District¶s Acceptable Use
Policy Guidelines and understand that this access is designed for educational purposes. I also recognize
that it is impossible for Barrow County employees to restrict access to all controversial materials, and I
will not hold them responsible for materials acquired through the district¶s network. I accept full
responsibility for supervision if and when my child is on-line and not in a school setting. I hereby give
permission to issue an access account for my child and hereby state that I have discussed access use
policies and consequences of failure to follow same policies with my child.

PARENT or GUARDIAN¶S NAME (Print) ______________________________________________

PARENT or GUARDIAN¶S SIGNATURE: ______________________________________________

DATE: ______________

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I have read the Barrow County School District¶s Acceptable Use Policy Guidelines and agree to
promote this agreement with the student. Because the student may use Barrow Count Network for
individual work or in context of another class, I can only be held responsible for monitoring the student
while he is in my class. As a sponsoring teacher, I do agree to offer opportunities for instruction on the
acceptable use of the Barrow County Network and proper network etiquette.

SPONSORING TEACHER¶S NAME (Print) _____________________________________

SPONSORING TEACHER¶S SIGNATURE: __________________________ DATE: ______________

Adapted from Arp IDS School District: http://www.arp.sprnet.org/admin/EXHIB_%20A.htm

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