Plagiarism Policy

California State University, Sacramento
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

The following policy regarding plagiarism was adopted by the faculty of the Family and Consumer Sciences in Spring 1988.

Policy: Plagiarism

Any papers or examinations will automatically receive an "F" grade should there be any evidence of plagiarism. Rewriting is not an option. The student is responsible for consulting with the instructor before submission of the assignment if this policy is not clearly understood.

To plagiarize is to steal and pass off as one's own the ideas or words of another. Plagiarism (use of another's printed material - including photographs, drawings, charts, etc. - without recognition given to the source through footnoting or by other acceptable means) is punishable under law.

Some Guidelines:
For those who have not had recent and extensive experience in writing papers, we strongly recommend the purchase and use of one of the various grammar and writing books available in the university bookstore. Any paper prepared for this department should follow the format and organizational style specified by the individual instructor.

There are several acceptable forms for the presentation of references and bibliography and your instructor will indicate to you his/her preference; however, the following reminders might prove useful:

1. Specific information which is not general knowledge should be referenced to indicate source even if it is paraphrased and not directly quoted.

2. When the author's wording is used, the material should be indicated as having been quoted by enclosing it in quotation marks, or if more than three lines in length, by indenting and single spacing, and credit given to the source. In either case, page numbers should be given.

3. Ordinarily, one expects actual use of materials to be reflected in references in a research paper. References in a bibliography that were not cited in the text give the impression of being an attempt to "pad" a bibliography with unused material. There should be a one-to-one correspondence between references in the text and references in the bibliography.

4. In this department it is required that you cite public documents, even though they are in the public domain.

5. The use of the first and second person pronouns indicates that the writer is addressing a specific audience and this form is incorrect for a review or research paper. The "author" or the "writer" is acceptable. The use of first and second person pronouns may be acceptable or even required in some types of writing. Check with the instructor.

6. Under no conditions should more than 25% of a paper be quoted directly, since quoting does not give a student experience in expressing himself/herself in a professional manner nor show that he/she has grasped the ideas or information presented by the source used.

7. Recent publications should be used unless the older publications are included for a historical perspective. Professional journals ordinarily give information that is more recent than books published at about the same date as the journal.