Plagiarism/Cheating Policy September 2008

The Ledyard Public Schools' Mission Statement says that Ledyard Schools will "prepare students to be productive and responsible citizens…"  As ethical behavior is a large part of responsible citizenship, the faculty and staff of Ledyard High School believe it is important to have a clear policy concerning plagiarism and other forms of academic cheating.

Ledyard High School defines cheating generally in accordance with Board of Education policy, which says that "Cheating by students…is attempting to take credit for someone else's work, using unauthorized materials, or otherwise acting to deceive the evaluator in an assignment, project, or test."  LHS distinguishes between two different degrees of plagiarism.  They are defined as follows:

Intentional Plagiarism is defined as, but not limited to:

  • Obvious, substantial, verbatim reproduction of information

  • Fabrication of sources, falsification of page numbers, or other deliberate misdocumentation

  • Submission of others' work as the students' own.  This applies to uncited paraphrasing of another's ideas as well as verbatim use of others' words. (Others' may refer to either scholarly sources, online "cribbed" essays, or the work of other students).

Technical Plagiarism is defined as, but limited to:

  • Poor paraphrasing, amounting to "pearling" of "translating" another's work

  • Improper citation or documentation that misrepresents a source

  • Insufficient citation of factual information not held to be common knowledge (common knowledge is defined as facts readily available from a variety of sources)

  • Poor integration of direct quotations with the student's own writing

Determination of Plagiarism/Cheating
Parents must be informed immediately when a student is suspected of plagiarism or cheating.  Through the use of and other search engines, teachers will, in most cases, be able to provide documented evidence of plagiarism.  A committee of teachers shall be established to review, as needed, cases of plagiarism.  The purpose of the committee will be to determine that evidence of plagiarism exists and which definition applies, not to apply penalties.  Those are prescribed below.

Academic consequences
Evidence of intentional plagiarism shall result in the student's receiving a grade of zero for the assignment in which the plagiarism occurs.  Adherence to departmental grading rubrics shall be negated by evidence of plagiarism.

Evidence of technical plagiarism shall result in a deduction of points – the number of points to be determined by the teacher, based on the severity and number of occurrences – for the assignment in which the plagiarism occurs.

Disciplinary consequences
In addition to the academic consequences, Ledyard High School also firmly believes that intentional plagiarism/cheating is an act of misconduct that merits disciplinary consequences as specified in the discipline grid.  In addition, our National Honor Society advisor should be informed of the verified plagiarism/cheating.  Students who later apply for membership in NHS must disclose past offenses.  Again, in all cases parents must be informed of the suspicion immediately.