Law_School_and_Plagiarism - Law School Plagiarism v Proper...

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Law School Plagiarism v. Proper Attribution A Publication of the Legal Writing Institute © 2003 Legal Writing Institute
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PLAGIARISM Legal Writing Institute INSTITUTIONALIZING THE FIGHT AGAINST PLAGIARISM Problems throughout the nation's law schools prompted the Legal Writing Institute to appoint a committee to investigate plagiarism policies and, if necessary, to create and disseminate a suggested policy. They contacted all ABA schools, and more than 120 schools submitted their policies, with comments and anonymous case histories. The committee discovered: many schools mention plagiarism only in a general Honor Code, plagiarism definitions are inconsistent and even contradictory from school to school, and plagiarism penalties are inconsistent and contradictory from school to school. Thus, the committee created a policy brochure that schools can modify to suit their faculty and student needs. A thorough discussion of the committee's findings and recommendations can be found in Terri LeClercq's Failure to Teach: Due Process and Law School Plagiarism, 49 J. L. Ed. 236 (1999). LAW SCHOOL PLAGIARISM plagiarism (pla´ j • riz´ • m) n. Taking the literary property of another, passing it off as one’s own without appropriate attribution, and reaping from its use any benefit from an academic institution. Committing plagiarism is a serious violation of any law school’s code of academic conduct. If a violation is proven, the committee or other body that oversees the code may impose severe sanctions—ones that could affect a grade or credit for the course or even require suspension or expulsion from school. In addition, the school may require the administration to report the incident to the bar of any jurisdiction to which the sanctioned student applies. Possible Sanctions Academic Disciplinary Both 2
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Types Failing grade Suspension Expulsion Temporary notation on student record Permanent notation on student record Public reprimand Private reprimand Denial of certification for moral fitness for sitting for the Bar Combinations of the above CHANGING CONTEXTS, CHANGING EXPECTATIONS Writers must be aware of the customs, conventions, and expectations of their audiences. The overriding constant should be a diligent and meticulous attention to detail; writers should err on the side of providing, rather than omitting, reference information. Undergraduate School “You must acknowledge all material quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from any published or unpublished work. Failing to cite a source, deliberately or accidentally, is plagiarism—representing as your own the words or ideas of another.” Harbrace College Handbook 412 (12th ed., 1994). Undergraduate professors accept “common knowledge” without citation, that is, facts most readers would already know, and facts available from a wide variety of sources, for instance, the date of D-Day or the name of the previous U.S President. Common knowledge is distinguished from a unique set of words. The New St.
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