May 27, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024 
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024

Cheating and Plagiarism

The Polk State College Board of Trustees Rule 4.01 Code of Conduct for Students and Student Organizations defines and prohibits academic dishonesty. Polk State considers academic dishonesty an assault upon  the basic integrity and value of a college education. Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities are serious acts that erode the College’s educational role and tarnish the learning experience, not only for the perpetrators but for the entire community.

Polk State College expects each student to understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity, and to bear individual responsibility for his or her work. Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent a student’s own efforts.

The fundamental purpose of this rule is to emphasize that any act of academic dishonesty attempted by a Polk State student is unacceptable and not tolerated. Examples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to cheating or plagiarizing on tests, projects, or assignments. Cheating is defined as the giving or taking of any information or material with the intent of wrongfully aiding oneself or another in academic work considered in the determination of a course grade. Plagiarism is defined as “the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind” (Black’s Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition). Plagiarism includes failure to use quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any specific source without citing that source, as well as  paraphrasing a passage from a specific source or using any sequence of material (or order of wording) without accurately quoting and citing that source. Plagiarism further includes letting another person compose or rewrite a student’s assignment.

The following items are some examples of cheating and plagiarism as identified by Polk State College faculty and students:

  1. Asking for information from another student before, during, or after a test, quiz, or exam situation.
  2. Copying answers from another’s paper during a test, quiz, or exam situation.
  3. Knowingly letting someone copy from one’s paper during a test, quiz, or exam situation.
  4. Using sources or devices other than those permitted by the instructor during a test, quiz, or exam situation.
  5. Copying material exactly, essentially, or in part from outside sources while omitting appropriate documentation.
  6. Copying or falsifying a laboratory report, clinical project, or assignment without doing the required work.
  7. Changing answers on a returned and graded test, quiz, or assignment in order to get the grade revised.
  8. Plagiarizing material within written assignments. This includes handing in a paper to an instructor that has been purchased from a term paper service or downloaded from the Internet, as well as presenting another person’s academic work as one’s own. Academic departments may provide additional examples of what constitutes plagiarism.
  9. Furnishing false information to any faculty member.
  10. Forging, altering, or misusing any College document, record, or instrument of identification.

The College uses an Internet-based plagiarism-prevention service in many classes requiring written work. This service can accurately review material for the use of online, print, student-related, textbook, or other sources, as well as AI resources such as ChatGPT. Any student taking such a course at Polk State must agree to the use of this service during the term of the class through its grading deadline. Any professor who receives a late submission from a student for the purpose of changing a class grade (e.g., to modify an Incomplete grade) may use this plagiarism-prevention service to evaluate the submission.

Violations of the College’s policies pertaining to academic dishonesty may result in academic penalties and disciplinary action at the discretion of the professor. Academic penalties may include, but are not limited to, a failing grade for a particular assignment or a failing grade for the entire course. A student who is charged with violating the Academic Dishonesty portion of this rule is not permitted to withdraw from the course. The student must work with a student success advisor for any registration activities needed for the duration of the term for which there is a charge of academic dishonesty, as the student’s record is placed on hold to prevent withdrawal. Additionally, a student in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be referred to the District Associate Dean of Student Services for sanctions and is provided due process as outlined in Polk State College Procedure 5026 Academic Dishonesty Procedure.