Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use of another individual’s ideas, thoughts, or opinions, and expressing them as one’s own without attribution to the individual as the source of those ideas or expressions. It also includes the use of facts, charts, and other graphic representations or information that is not common knowledge, and presenting them without acknowledging the source, whether they are in printed form or in an electronic format. Plagiarism not only includes direct quotes but also paraphrasing. Each course syllabus may address specific procedures and penalties associated with the violation of the plagiarism policy for that course.

Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic honesty and is not tolerated at MWCC. If a faculty member suspects that a student has engaged in plagiarism, it is the student’s responsibility to provide the sources he or she used in preparing his or her project. If the faculty member suspects that plagiarism is involved, he or she will follow this procedure:

  • The faculty member will notify the student within 10 days of the alleged incident and arrange for a meeting with the student.
  • If, after an informal meeting, the faculty member and the student cannot reach a resolution of the incident, the faculty member will fill out a student plagiarism report available from the division dean.
  • Once the plagiarism report has been issued, to overcome the accusation of plagiarism, the student must provide proof of his or her sources.
  • If, upon investigation by the faculty member, the student has been found to be responsible, the student will be notified by the faculty member in writing by means of the student plagiarism report. If the student has been found not responsible, the report will be expunged.
  • If the student is found responsible, the student will be offered an opportunity to sign the report. If the student does not accept the finding of responsibility, the student has the option of appealing the decision to the appropriate division dean.
  • The student receives a copy of the report, signed or unsigned, and the faculty member keeps a copy of the report as part of the class record and forwards the report to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and a copy to the appropriate division dean.

Students found to have engaged in plagiarism based on the evidence may be subject to, but not limited to, the following sanctions that are to be imposed by the faculty member:

  • Receive a grade of zero for the assignment.
  • Receive a grade of F for the course.
  • Refer the case to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs for further action through the student disciplinary procedures.

If the case is referred for student disciplinary action, the faculty member agrees that the disposition of the case, including the imposition of any sanctions or actions, will be determined by the committee. At the faculty member’s discretion, a temporary file will be maintained in the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs’ office outlining the facts of the incident and its resolution. This record will be maintained for the duration of the student’s enrollment, not to exceed two years. If the student drops out and does not enroll for the succeeding semester, the student retains the right to appeal the decision for a period not to exceed 12 months.