Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

Intellectual honesty is essential for any academic enterprise.

Plagiarism, representing other people’s ideas as your own, undermines the integrity of this enterprise and therefore diminishes the value of a Bates education.  Unfortunately, with the internet and other modes of communication, plagiarism is also rampant in today’s society.  The Politics Department expects each student to read and understand the Bates College guidelines on plagiarism prior to turning in the first draft of your literature review.

If you fail to cite another person’s work or do so inappropriately on several occasions out of sloppiness, your grade will suffer.  If you do so in a way that your advisor judges to be more systematic, such that you are essentially presenting a substantial portion of someone else’s work as your own regardless of your own intentions you will receive an F for the thesis. “Substantial” here means the equivalent of two paragraphs or one page of your work, whichever is smaller.

You are responsible for your own honesty.  If you turn something in that has been plagiarized, and your advisor reads it but does not notice the plagiarism until after you have turned your final copy, you will still be penalized.  Moreover,  if your advisor believes it possible that you plagiarized intentionally, the matter will be referred to the Dean of Students Office and the Student Conduct Committee.   If they find you guilty, you will receive an F for the class, in addition to the punishment they decide.

Some cases of plagiarism are inadvertent due to sloppy note taking during the research process.  In order to avoid falling into that trap, we recommend you consult with your advisor and the Writing Workshop for strategies.

Citation Format

You can use any accepted format for citing others’ work, provided it is used consistently throughout the thesis.  The department suggests the American Political Science Review standard, the Chicago Manual of Style or the MLA Style Manual.   Please consult with your advisor in making a choice.

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