On Good Academic Practice

  

NOTICE!

The following declaration should be attached to all literary and linguistic papers that are handed in at the Department of English. It should be printed on a separate page and the date of submission and the author’s signature should be added:

I confirm that I am familiar with the department rules on Good Academic Practice (as published on engsem.unibas.ch/studying/regulations/good-academic-practice/) and have followed them carefully. I am aware that my paper may be checked for plagiarism against resources on the internet.

date:                                                                       signature:  

 

GOOD ACADEMIC PRACTICE

(Pro)seminar papers are there to show you and those who teach you what kind of progress you have made. The research you have done may also turn up material that is of interest to those who read your (pro)seminar paper. For these reasons full documentation is essential.

Failure to offer full documentation may constitute plagiarism and/or deception. Plagiarism and/or deception may result in the rejection of a (pro)seminar paper and the possibility of further sanctions.


Plagiarism

Plagiarism is copying or paraphrasing texts not your own and using other people's ideas without giving due credit (i.e. giving the impression that they are your own).


How to avoid plagiarism

Appropriately document the source whenever your use somebody else's apt phrase, text or idea. Make sure that you do this fully and consistently. When taking notes carefully distinguish between your own thoughts and material you have found somewhere. Always take down the exact source. Use a style sheet even at this point. This may seem to be a bit petty, but it will make things easier when you actually write your (pro)seminar paper.


Deception

Deception is using material for which you have received academic credit more than once for the same purpose; also, not acknowledging assistance you are aware of having received.


How to avoid deception

Include an "Acknowledgements" section at the beginning of your paper. If you use material and ideas again that you have used before indicate this in this section; if you are actually quoting yourself, quote yourself explicitly. If you have received assistance (especially assistance you may have asked for, e.g., with the language), give a fair account of this in your "Acknowledgements" section.

If you are in doubt about how to acknowledge the help you have received, choose the more explicit version. Those who have helped you will appreciate your generosity.


Examples

Original passage:

The poem requires our close attention and, if possible, our unriddling because it is a powerful symbolic enactment of the psychological dilemma facing the intelligent and aware woman, and particularly the woman artist, in patriarchal America.

 

Student version 1:

The poem is a powerful symbolic enactment of the psychological dilemma facing the intelligent and aware woman, and particularly the woman artist, in patriarchal America.

Comment: Obvious plagiarism. Word-for-word repetition without acknowledgment.

 

Student version 2:

The poem requires our close attention and, if possible, our unriddling because it is a powerful symbolic enactment of the psychological dilemma facing the intelligent and aware woman, and particularly the woman artist, in patriarchal America (Gelpi 1979: 124).

Comment: Still plagarism. Indicating from where you have taken the idea alone is not enough. The language is the original author's, and only quotation marks around the whole passage plus the reference in bracket would be correct (see version 4).

 

Student version 3:

Emily Dickinson's poem enacts the psychological dilemma facing the intelligent female writer in patriarchal America.

Comment: Still plagarism. A few words have been changed or omitted, but the student is not using his or her own language.

 

Student version 4:

"The poem requires our close attention and, if possible, our unriddling because it is a powerful symbolic enactment of the psychological dilemma facing the intelligent and aware woman, and particularly the woman artist, in patriarchal America" (Gelpi 1979: 124).

Comment: correct. The quotation marks acknowledge the words of the original writer and the information in bracket tells us the source of the quote. (The complete reference must be given in the bibliography).

 

Student version 5:

Emily Dickinson's poem must be read in a figurative way. According to Albert Gelpi, the poet uses symbolic language in order to metaphorically express "the psychological dilemma" female artists like herself experienced in nineteenth-century "patriarchal America" when the writing of poetry was regarded as a male prerogative (1979: 124).

Comment: Correct. The student uses her own langauge in order to paraphrase Gelpi's opinion, puts the original words in quotation marks, and indicates the source. He or she uses Gelpi's opinion for the development of his or her own thesis.