West Middle English Department Plagiarism Policy

  • Plagiarism
    *the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.

    The following information is in accordance to a department contract sent home in September:

    Any time a student selects a piece of writing, or part of a piece, and submits it to a teacher as an attempt to pass it off as his or her original thought, that’s plagiarism.  To put it bluntly, plagiarism is stealing.  This contract is an attempt by the English Department of West Middle School to educate students and parents on this sensitive topic in order to eliminate this act from happening.

    The most frequently observed example of plagiarism at the middle school level is lifting information from the Internet.  Some students have, in the past, read a passage from the Internet and clicked “copy and paste,” placing the information into their document. 


    When it has been proven that a student is guilty of plagiarism, the student's English teacher will take the following actions:

    Meet with student to address the conflict and explain the following steps.

    Call a parent and explain the action, reflect upon this contract, and explain the following steps.

    Could give a failing score for part of the assignment, up to and including the entire assignment, depending on the severity of the occurrence of academic fraud.

    Complete an office write up, including the previous steps taken and all copies made, explaining the severity of the occurrence of academic fraud.

    Office Referrals

    After an office referral is issued, any further repercussions may be dictated by a building administrator in the main office.  Please see page 14 of the West Middle student agenda for possible interventions and consequences.

    Plagiarism Prevention

    The following steps can be taken in order to prevent a student from being subjected to discipline as a result of plagiarism.

    Cite your work: Sometimes you want to use a line or two from a book, online resource, etc.  That’s fine as long as you give credit where credit is due.

    Please see the district-published MLA Formatting Booklet, available in the library and your English classroom.

    Simply, DON’T DO IT!  It’s late at night, a book report is due tomorrow, and you need to turn in something!  Taking a hit on late points is a lot more respectable than the alternative.  Talk to your teacher and avoid a bad choice.

    Ask a teacher or librarian: If you’re unsure how to cite something, or if you’re reading online and are worried about how to use information appropriately, simply ask about it.  Teachers are always here to help and guide each student through the appropriate use of others’ works.

    *citation for definition

    "plagiarism." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 20 Apr. 2010.