Furman University is an academic community where men and women pursue a life of scholarly inquiry and intellectual growth. The foundation of this community is a spirit of personal honesty and responsibility, as well as mutual trust and respect. In order to maintain trust between members of the University community, faculty and students must adhere to certain basic ethical principles in regard to academic integrity. A violation of academic integrity in any form is a fundamental offense against the integrity of the entire academic community and is always a threat to the standards of the college and to the standing of every student. In taking tests and examinations, doing homework, laboratory work and writing papers, students are expected to perform with honor.
One of the most common forms of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. Plagiarism is the use of another's expression or ideas as if they were one's own. In other words, it is a form of cheating and as such is not tolerated in academic communities. To avoid plagiarism, students should acknowledge their sources, using whatever form of documentation is appropriate to the discipline in which their work is being done. In particular, they must be careful to indicate the use of directly quoted material by appropriate punctuation (quotation marks) and forms of citation. They should be aware, however, that undocumented paraphrase and summary also constitute plagiarism. Whatever is borrowed from a source must be acknowledged. Outside the academic community, plagiarism (among other things) is prosecutable under copyright laws. Within the academic community, it is subject to severe penalties which range from failure of the assignment in question to failure of the course in which the plagiarism has been committed. Repeated and/or flagrant plagiarism may be punished by dismissal from the University.
The ultimate responsibility for behaving with integrity rests with the student. If at any time students are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism or about any other form of academic dishonesty, it is their obligation to consult with their faculty so that they fully understand what is expected of them. Additional information about Furman's policy and expectations in this area may be found on the University web site on academic integrity. Honesty within our academic community is not simply a matter of rules and procedures; it is an opportunity to put personal responsibility and integrity into action. When students accept the implicit bonds of trust within an academic community, they liberate themselves to pursue their academic goals in an atmosphere of mutual confidence and respect.