Torah High works with its students to ensure that they fully understand that plagiarism and cheating is unacceptable behavior. Before every evaluation is assigned, Torah High teachers remind students, both verbally and in writing, that all student products must be original work. If a student submits plagiarised work, or cheats, it is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Torah High looks at whether it was done accidentally or purposefully; it is a first-time offence; the grade level and maturity of the student; the reason for plagiarising/cheating, etc. Each case is different, but a student may be allowed a second chance, may receive a zero, or a repeat offender may be asked to leave Torah High. Cases are dealt with sensitivity and tact and follow a continuum of responses and consequences.
To the Student
Plagiarism means submitting work to the teacher that is not your own. Cheating and plagiarism will not be condoned. When you take ideas and words that are someone else’s and pass them off as yours, you are plagiarising. Plagiarism can involve some of these:
Using work done by another studen
- Copying someone else’s work or homework
- Taking another student’s work and changing some words
- Cutting and pasting material from the Internet and submitting it as yours
- Copying information from a book, magazine, website, movie, etc. and not naming the source
- Leaving out quotation marks for direct quotes
To the Teacher
Help students avoid plagiarising by:
Defining the term and reminding them of it when setting out an assignment
- Providing students with examples of what constitutes plagiarism
- Emphasizing the importance of using process skills to arrive at a product
- Teaching research skills so they can avoid plagiarising: note taking, paraphrasing, summarizing
- Teaching organizational skills: finding and organizing information to build understanding of a topic
- Teaching students how to make an outline for a report or research essay
- Having students keep a learning log to reflect on what they learned through the process: how research and organizational skills helped with the project; how could the product be improved; how can the research and organizational skills be improved
- Assessing the process steps: notes, outline, drafts, summary, work cited, etc.
- Informing students of the consequences of plagiarism
When plagiarism has been detected, the teacher should discuss the matter with the student and promptly inform the principal of the details. The student receives zero for the assignment because the student has not demonstrated achievement of the expectations for the assignment.
There may be other opportunities for the student to demonstrate evidence of achievement of the expectations of the assignment (e.g. research, organizational, presentation skills) during the course. If other opportunities arise, the teacher may choose not to factor in zero for the plagiarized assignment in the calculation of the term mark.
A student may appeal the teacher’s decision to the principal after discussion with the teacher.
(Based on Fresh Air: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Secondary Schools
Toronto District School Board, 2006)