Executive Committee Plagiarism
Created by the Executive Committee in Conjunction with the University Library

Plagiarism Definition (as printed in the University Catalog):
"Plagiarism" describes the use of another's words, figures, or ideas without proper acknowledgment. In the past, students of Washington and Lee University have considered plagiarism a violation of the Honor System; therefore, all forms of plagiarism are taken very seriously. Plagiarism takes many forms, whether content is written by a human or generated by a machine, including the wholesale copying of phrases, diagrams, or texts, or the use of ideas without indicating the source. Certain facts must also be properly acknowledged. For more information, please reference the University Library's plagiarism guide.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should I care about plagiarism?
Washington and Lee University is an intellectual community that thrives on the exchange of ideas among professors and students. The academic character of our university requires respect for the intellectual property of others. We must be able to trust that the ideas presented as one's own are just that. Others' ideas must always be correctly attributed. As a student at Washington and Lee, you should take pride in your work and want your professors to know what is your work and, more importantly, what is not.
Because the students of Washington and Lee University have considered plagiarism a violation of the Honor System in the past, all forms of plagiarism, including copying of content generated by a machine, are taken very seriously. Ignorance concerning plagiarism does not excuse the act. Furthermore, properly citing your work is important to your grade and integrity.

I still don't understand; what should I do?
Obey this safe rule of thumb: when in doubt, cite.
Talk to your professor about what sources are allowed, what citation style s/he prefers, and any questions you might have about citations and/or plagiarism.
Visit the University Library's plagiarism guide for resources about citing properly and avoiding plagiarism.