Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Defining and Avoiding Cheating and Plagiarism

This document was developed to help students understand what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and also to help students avoid such actions. In your coursework, you will frequently be asked to write papers or give presentations in which you will be drawing upon the literature in our profession; understanding and discussing the ideas of others is vital to professional academic work. Professional behavior must also reflect the knowledge of when and how to give credit to others, and this document will give you some guidelines for doing so. The CHDS faculty wants to hear your ideas and evaluate your knowledge in an ethical and appropriate manner.

Defining Cheating and Plagiarism

This document is an expansion of the information found in the APA Manual (APA, 2009) and The Kent State University Official Policy Register (Kent State University, n.d.). In this document, “plagiarism” or “cheating” are given as examples of academic dishonesty that require sanction.

The KSU Official Policy Register defines “cheating” as the following:

"Cheat" means intentionally to misrepresent the source, nature, or other conditions of academic work so as to accrue undeserved credit, or to cooperate with someone else in such misrepresentation. Such misrepresentations may, but need not necessarily, involve the work of others. As defined, cheating includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Obtaining or retaining partial or whole copies of examination, tests or quizzes before these are distributed for student use;
(b) Using notes, textbooks or other information in examinations, tests and quizzes, except as expressly permitted;
(c) Obtaining confidential information about examinations, tests or quizzes other than that released by the instructor;
(d) Securing, giving or exchanging information during examinations;
(e) Presenting data or other material gathered by another person or group as one's own;
(f) Falsifying experimental data or information; (g) Having another person take one's place for any academic performance without the specific knowledge and permission of the instructor;
(h) Cooperating with another to do one or more of the above; and
(i) Using a substantial portion of a piece of work previously submitted for another course or program to meet the requirements of the present course or program without notifying the instructor to whom the work is presented.
(j) Presenting falsified information in order to postpone or avoid examinations, tests, quizzes, or other academic work. (policy 3342-3-01.8)

Cheating is considered to be unethical by Kent State University. However, overtly cheating (e.g., looking off another students test) is what is of consequence to the university. Cheating oneself from an educational experience (e.g., only skimming a chapter rather than thoroughly reading it) is also of concern to the CHDS program and the counseling profession at large.

The KSU Official Policy Register defines “plagiarism” as the following:

"Plagiarize" means to take and present as one's own a material portion of the ideas or words of another or to present as one's own an idea or work derived from an existing source without full and proper credit to the source of the ideas, words, or works. As defined, plagiarize includes, but is not limited to:

(a) The copying of words, sentences and paragraphs directly from the work of another without proper credit;
(b) The copying of illustrations, figures, photographs, drawings, models, or other visual and nonverbal materials, including recordings, of another without proper credit; and
(c) The presentation of work prepared by another in final or draft form as one's own without citing the source, such as the use of purchased research papers. (policy 3342-3-01.8)

Plagiarism is unethical behavior; The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics states in Section G.5.b. that “Counselors do not plagiarize; that is, they do not present another person’s work as their own work” (ACA, 2005, p. 18). Plagiarism can be very obvious, such as when a student copies someone else’s paper for a class assignment or copies information from a website without appropriate citation. It can also be subtler, such as paraphrasing someone’s words or ideas without properly citing the source. The examples contained in this document are intended to help students understand both the obvious and the more subtle forms of plagiarism, and to give students information about how to avoid committing plagiarism.

Avoiding Cheating

Cheating can obviously be avoided by just not doing it. However, the temptation for cheating arises when grades can be improved or failure can be avoided. Cheating, if not caught, can have benefits in grades. However, students cheat themselves out of available resources and ultimately cheat their clients out of the best services. Thorough preparation of assignments and readings along with utilizing instructors and the KSU writing center may help in avoiding the need to cheat.

Avoiding Plagiarism

If you are using another’s words or ideas in a paper, manuscript, presentation, and so forth, you must acknowledge the source of the words/ideas.

If you want to incorporate another person's ideas in your own writing you must either put the idea in your own words or use direct quotes. And, no matter whether you use quotes or paraphrasing, you must acknowledge the original source by properly citing the original author. (Western Washington University, n.d., p. 2).

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use [1] another person’s ideas, opinion, or theory; [2] any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings – any pieces of information – that are not common knowledge; [3] quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or [4] paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written word. (Indiana University, n.d., ¶2)

Examples of Plagiarism and Appropriate Citations

The following examples demonstrate proper and improper citations; for more information on appropriate citations and the use of quotations, refer to the APA Manual (APA, 2009).

Here are two direct quotes from a recent article that we will use to illustrate examples of plagiarism and proper paraphrasing. Note the first is a block quote because it is over 40 words.

On the basis of the current study and similar studies, it is clear that the need for systematic, comprehensive coverage of substance abuse issues in counselor preparation has been well established. The most appropriate method for providing this training has yet to be determined. Future research could address the feasibility of the three methods presented in this article for including substance abuse training in CACREP standards. (Salyers, Ritchie, Luellen, & Roseman, 2005, p. 41).

“The majority of respondents rated the inclusion of substance abuse training in counselor education as important, and a majority (84.5%) reported that they offered substance abuse courses” (Salyers, Ritchie, Luellen, & Roseman, 2005, p. 37).

For any citation that you include in your text, also include a full reference in your reference list at the end of the paper. For example:

Salyers, K.M., Ritchie, M.H., Luellen, W.S., & Roseman, C.P. (2005). Inclusion of substance abuse training in CACREP-accredited programs. Counselor Education and Supervision, 45, 30-42.

Direct Copying

Directly copying another person’s words without citation is an obvious example of plagiarism. It is improper to directly quote a paragraph, a sentence, or even a key phrase without citing the source.

Plagiarism:

It is clear that the need for systematic, comprehensive coverage of substance abuse issues in counselor preparation has been well established.

You may use another person’s words allowing that you properly cite them. For example, a proper citation for the above would be:

“. . . it is clear that the need for systematic, comprehensive coverage of substance abuse issues in counselor preparation has been well established” (Salyers, Ritchie, Luellen, & Roseman, 2005, p. 41).

Improperly Paraphrasing

Instead of directly quoting a passage you may wish to paraphrase an idea or passage using your own words. If you use exact words or phrases from the original source it is still plagiarism. You cannot simply replace a few words in a passage. It is plagiarism to cut and paste sentences or paragraphs from articles and change a few words.

Plagiarism:

On the basis of several studies, clearly there is a need for systematic, comprehensive coverage of substance abuse issues in counselor preparation.

In the above example, the original sentence was used almost in its entirety with only the beginning clause changed and the ending changed. This constitutes plagiarism, as does the lack of citation of the source.

Plagiarism:

According to current studies, there is a need for systematic, comprehensive coverage of substance abuse issues in counselor training, but the best method for providing this training has yet to be found (Salyers, Ritchie, Luellen, & Roseman, 2005).

In this example, the paraphrased passage is attributed to the source, but it still uses original passages and mere substitution of words and, thus, is still plagiarism. It should either be completely restated in your own words, or quoted directly from the original and properly cited.

Plagiarism:

The inclusion of training for addictions counseling is vital within counselor education curricula according to current research.

This example appropriately paraphrases (puts the original in other words), but neglects to cite the source.

Properly cited:

The inclusion of training for addictions counseling is vital within counselor education curricula according to current research (Salyers et al., 2005).

Properly cited:

The inclusion of “systematic, comprehensive coverage” of addictions counseling is vital within counselor education curricula according to current research (Salyers et al., 2005, p. 41).

It is proper to include exact passages if they are identified by quotation marks and properly cited which includes citing the page for the direct quote.

What needs to be cited?

Any fact, idea, or research finding that is not common knowledge needs to be properly cited. Facts that are readily available for verification (e.g., the capital of Canada is Ottawa) do not need a citation. If you are unsure of whether something is common knowledge it is a good idea to go ahead and cite the source where you found it.

Plagiarism:

Most counselor education programs offer substance abuse courses.

This is not common knowledge, but is the finding of a recently published survey of counselor education programs. The proper way to cite this is:

Properly cited:

Most counselor education programs offer substance abuse courses (Salyers, Ritchie, Luellen, & Roseman, 2005, p. 37).

Does not require a citation:

The Kent State University, Counseling and Human Development Services Program offers CACREP-accredited programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling and doctoral-level Counselor Education.

Patricia Arredondo was president of ACA in 2005-2006.

The Kent State University’s School Counseling program is approved by the Ohio Department of Education.

These facts may not be known by everyone, but in all three cases the information is generally accessible to the public and not the result of a specific study or publication.

Consequences of Plagiarism

Students are expected to behave in a responsible and professional manner while functioning in classes. Failure to conform one’s behavior to acceptable standards of practice (e.g., avoidance of plagiarism) shall be considered cause for dismissal from the department and possibly from the university.

Acknowledgements

The format/structure of this document was adapted in part from statements about plagiarism on the websites of Indiana University, Western Washington University Department of Sociology, and the University of Toledo’s Department of Counselor Education and School Psychology. Most of the examples and much of the wording was taken from the University of Toledo’s CESP website, with their permission.

References

American Counseling Association. (2005). ACA code of ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author.
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Indiana University. (n.d.). Plagiarism: What it is and how to recognize and avoid it. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml.
Kent State University. (2007). Official policy register. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.kent.edu/policyreg/upload/Complete%20Policy%20Register%20110107.pdf.
The Department of Counselor Education and School Psychology (n.d.). Defining and avoiding plagiarism. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.utoledo.edu/hshs/cesp/Policies/PDFs/Plagiarism_Policy.pdf
Western Washington University, Department of Sociology. (n.d.). The student's guide to avoiding plagiarism. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.wwu.edu/depts/soc/plagiarism.PDF.