College Plagiarism Statement from the Emory College Honor Code

The Use of Sources in Writing Research Paper in Emory College

A writer's facts, ideas, and phraseology should be regarded as his property. Any person who uses a writer's ideas or phraseology without giving due credit is guilty of plagiarism.

Information may be put into a paper without a footnote or some kind of documentation only if it meets all of the following conditions:

  • It may be found in several books on the subject. 
  • It is written entirely in the words of the student. 
  • It is not paraphrased from any particular source. 
  • It therefore belongs to common knowledge.

    Generally, if a student writes while looking at a source or while looking a notes taken from a source, a footnote should be given.

    Whenever any idea is taken from a specific work, even when the student writes the idea entirely in his own words, there must be a footnote giving credit to the author responsible for the idea. Of course methods of documentation vary, and it is possible to cite in the text itself rather than a footnote. The point is that the student should give credit when credit is due and that he should give the credit in a manner specified by the instructor or the department.

    The student is entirely responsible for knowing and following the principles of paraphrasing. "In paraphrasing you are expressing the ideas of another writer in your own words. A good paraphrase preserves the sense of the original, but not the form. It does not retain the sentence patterns and merely substitute synonyms for the original words, nor does it retain the original words and merely alter the sentence patterns. It is a genuine restatement. Invariably it should be briefer than the source."*

    Any direct quotation should be footnoted (or documented in any acceptable fashion). Even when a student uses only one unusual or key word from a passage, that word should be quoted. If a brief phrase that is common is used as it occurs in a source, the words should be in quotation marks. The source of every quotation should be given in a footnote or in the prescribed manner.

    It is of course the prerogative of the instructor to prescribe that no secondary sources may be used for particular papers.

    A student who uses a secondary source must remember that the very act of looking up a book or an article should be considered as a pledge that the student will use the material according to the principles stated above.


    * Floyd C. Watkins, William B. Dillingham, and Edwin T. Martin, Practical English Handbook, 3rd ed. (Boston, 1970), p. 245.