Introduction: The Barnard Honor Code
We, the students of Barnard College, resolve to uphold the honor of the College by refraining from every form of dishonesty in our academic life. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any papers or books not authorized by the instructor in examinations, or to present oral work or written work which is not entirely our own, unless otherwise approved by the instructor. We consider it dishonest to remove without authorization, alter, or deface library and other academic materials. We pledge to do all that is in our power to create a spirit of honesty and honor for its own sake.
Adopted by the student body in 1912, this code defines both the rights and responsibilities of all Barnard students (“The Honor Code” 1). 1. For more information on the Honor System and your rights and responsibilities as a Barnard student, refer to the Honor Code booklet, or contact the Office of the Dean of Studies.
As an institution that “aims to provide the highest quality liberal arts education to promising and high-achieving young women,”2 Barnard defines itself as a community immersed in the pursuit of knowledge. Central to the maintenance of such a community is a shared commitment not simply to intellectual exploration and curiosity, but to honesty and academic integrity. This web site is designed to give you, the First-Year English student, a comprehensive introduction not only to the proper use of sources as you prepare your papers, but to provide a larger context for such understanding, and to support your scholarly development as a valued member of the Barnard community.
 Barnard College. Honor Board. "The Honor Code." New York: Barnard College, 1995.
 “Mission Statement.” Barnard College. https://barnard.edu/about-college. Accessed 05 August 2019.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity
That depends on who is defining it. A Google search on "plagiarism" will net over a million hits; many of those are academic web sites with goals much like this one. Each one, however, defines plagiarism a bit differently. At its simplest, plagiarism is the use of another individual’s words or ideas without proper attribution. As noted in the English Department’s "Guide to the Preparation of Papers," the term derives from the Latin plagiare, "to kidnap" (9). Plagiarism is thus most easily understood as "intellectual theft" (Gibaldi 30). There are, however, several different kinds of plagiarism, both intentional and unintentional.1
- The most obvious kind of plagiarism is outright intellectual fraud. This is the submission of another person’s work as your own, or the invention of false sources or data.
- A more subtle form of plagiarism is the appropriation of another individual’s ideas, whether intentionally or unintentionally. For more information on originality and your academic work, see The Use of Sources.
- A third form of plagiarism is the failure to "distinguish quote from paraphrase," or the failure to properly cite and document your sources. These problems are exacerbated by sloppy note-taking practices.
- Yet another form of plagiarism is "mosaic plagiarism," or the cutting-and-pasting of information from web pages or other documents into your own work.
- Other instances of plagiarism include unequal or undocumented collaboration between students, the submission of term papers written by others or downloaded from internet paper mills, or re-submitting a paper from another course without the explicit permission of both instructors.
Plagiarism is often the result of poor time management, or of ignorance of proper documentation and citation techniques. You are encouraged not only to plan in advance, but to consult your professors, this web site, the English Department’s "Guide to the Preparation of Papers," the MLA Handbook and the Bedford Rules for Writers for advice regarding all aspects of your writing and research. Plagiarism can be avoided through careful note-taking, meticulous documentation, and a commitment to academic honesty and integrity. For more definitions and explanations of plagiarism, see:
- "What Is Plagiarism?" Sources. [Dartmouth Coll.]
- Avoiding Plagiarism. [Online Writing Lab, Purdue Univ.]
- How To Recognize Plagiarism: Definition of Plagiarism. [Indiana Univ.]
- Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices. [Council of Writing Program Administrators]
- Working Definition of Plagiarism. [Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services]
- Tips for Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism. [Tufts Univ.]
The Center for Academic Integrity defines academic integrity "as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility" (par. 1). 2 As a Barnard student, it is your responsibility to represent yourself and your work honestly at all times. Failure to do so violates not only the Barnard Honor Code, but also the trust of the intellectual community of which you are a part. It is an act of disrespect not only towards your instructors, but towards your fellow students and the College as a whole. According to the Council of Writing Program Administrators, plagiarism and acts of academic dishonesty not only "devalue the institution and the degree it offers; [they hurt] the inquirer, who has avoided thinking independently and has lost the opportunity to participate in [the] broader social conversations" the institution seeks to encourage (4-5). 3 The intellectual exploration and innovation that Barnard seeks to foster cannot be maintained without a commitment to academic honesty and integrity on the part of all members of the College community. For more information about academic integrity, see:
- Academic Integrity at Princeton: Intellectual Community. [Princeton Univ.]
- Plagiarism and Academic Integrity at Rutgers University. [Rutgers Univ.]
- Guide to Plagiarism and Cyber-Plagiarism. [Univ. of Alberta]
1. The information that follows is paraphrased from the following sources:
- Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1999.
- Student Writing Services: Avoiding Plagiarism. 2004. Writing Teaching Services, Tufts University. 14 June 2004. http://uss.tufts.edu/arc/writingresources/documents/avoid.pdf.
2. Center for Academic Integrity. Fundamental Values Project. 2003. 21 June 2004. http://www.academicintegrity.org/icai/resources-2.php.
3. Council of Writing Program Administrators. Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices. Jan. 2003. 14 June 2004. http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf.
Academic Writing and Originality
The Contradictions of American Academic Writing
- Show you have done your research, but write something new and original
- Appeal to experts and authorities, but improve upon, or disagree with experts and authorities
- Improve your English by mimicking what you hear and read, but use your own words, your own voice
- Give credit where credit is due, but make your own significant contribution
(Avoiding Plagiarism. Online Writing Lab, Purdue University. 7 June 2013. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/930/01/.)
One common difficulty that students encounter as they attempt to synthesize their own scholarly contributions is the pressure to be original. While the English Department and the College encourage and expect you to extend your thinking and your scholarship beyond what you hear, see, or read, your sources are an integral background for that work. As you develop your academic writing it is very important to acknowledge each and every one of your sources. By doing so, you do not diminish the value of your contribution. Rather, "you demonstrate your integrity and skill as a responsible participant in the conversation of scholarship" (Sources par. 1).1
For further discussion of originality, proper citations, and responsible scholarship see the MLA Handbook, the English Department's "Guide to the Preparation of Papers," or:
- Why We Cite. [Univ. North Carolina]
- Academic Integrity at Princeton: The Challenge of Original Work [Princeton Univ.]
- How to Avoid Plagiarism [Northwestern Univ.]
When to Cite Your Sources
- When you are introducing facts that are not generally known, cite your source.
- When you quote another work directly, cite your source.
- When you present an opinion or line of reasoning that you did not originate, cite your source.
- In general, whenever you are using words or ideas that come from another person's work, cite your source.
Make sure the distinction between your work and the work of others is always clear. When in doubt, provide a citation. Err on the side of caution. For further clarification, see The MLA Handbook, Rules for Writers, or the English Department's "Guide to the Preparation of Papers." See also:
- When to Cite Sources. [Princeton Univ.]
On Common Knowledge
"Common knowledge" can be defined as facts that the majority of members of a community can be expected to know. It is knowledge "held in common." A much-used example of common knowledge, quoted in the MLA Handbook and in other print resources, is "George Washington was the first President of the United States." Facts like this one, in other words, are things you can expect your reader to be aware of before he or she reads your work. Common knowledge also includes well-known proverbs or quotations. If some of the information in your paper is common knowledge, it need not be cited. In general, when deciding what constitutes common knowledge, err on the side of caution. When you are in doubt over whether or not you can expect your reader to know a given fact, proverb, or famous quotation, track down and cite a source. It is better to over-document than to under-document. For more information, see:
- "Common Knowledge and Quotations." Guide to Plagiarism and Cyber-Plagiarism. [Univ. of Alberta]
- Academic Integrity at Princeton: Not-So-Common-Knowledge [Princeton Univ.]
The following web sites are comprehensive research tools, designed to aid you not only in your gathering of information but in your writing. We encourage you to bookmark, explore and make use of them.
- A User's Guide to Resources for Writing at Barnard College. [Barnard Coll.]
- Library Compass. [CCNMTL, Columbia Univ.]
- Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgement. [UCSD]
- Writing With Sources. [Gordon Harvey, Harvard Univ.]
- Plagiarism Resource Site. [Colby, Bates and Bowdoin Colleges]
1. Dartmouth College. Committee on Sources. Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgement. 1998. 14 June 2004. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~sources/
Parenthetical Citation, MLA Style
If you are quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing a source, you must not only document that source in your Works Cited page, you must provide some information in parentheses at the end of the sentence or quotation. You must make sure that the author of the source is noted, as well as the page number. The following examples, which make use of Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, demonstrate the variety of ways this is accomplished.
Here is a direct quote from “The Brown Stocking,” Auerbach’s chapter-long analysis of To the Lighthouse:
"In Virginia Woolf's case the exterior events have actually lost their hegemony, they serve to release and interpret inner events, whereas before her time (and still today in many instances) inner movements preponderantly function to prepare and motivate significant exterior happenings" (Auerbach 475)
Here are several ways in which the author and the page number of this particular quote might be integrated into a paper:
In Mimesis, Erich Auerbach states that the style of To the Lighthouse indicates that, for Woolf, “the exterior events” of the plot “have actually lost their hegemony, they serve to release and interpret inner events” that take place in the minds of her characters (475).
Generally speaking, “inner movements” in novels “preponderantly function to prepare and motivate significant exterior happenings,” but in To the Lighthouse the relationship between the internal and the external is reversed (Auerbach 263).
Auerbach asserts that Virginia Woolf’s writing inverts the traditional causal relationship between internal and external, or between thought and action (Mimesis 475).
In his 1946 work Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, German critic Erich Auerbach argues that To the Lighthouse demonstrates author Virginia Woolf’s ability to invert the traditional causal relationship between the actions that make up the plot of the novel and the thoughts of the various characters (475).
The first example integrates the author of the citation into the introductory portion of the sentence. The second example, foregoing explicit mention of the author within the sentence itself, includes both the author and the page number at the end of the quotation. In this case, the reader would assume that the title and author of the work being quoted had been given explicit mention earlier in the paper. The third and fourth examples, which paraphrase Auerbach’s exact words, still include the name of the author, the name of the text, and the page upon which the paraphrased words can be found. [More on paraphrasing can be found in Paraphrasing and Summarizing Sources.]
For more information see the MLA Handbook, the English Department’s "Guide to the Preparation of Papers," or:
- Using MLA Format [Purdue Univ.]
- "MLA In-Text Citations." Research and Documentation Online. [D. Hacker, Bedford/St. Martin’s]
More examples of proper citation format can be found in Examples for Students.
Footnotes, MLA Style
Papers formatted in MLA style use footnotes, rather than endnotes, for the introduction of additional information. Footnotes should be used for the discussion of important avenues of thought which might disrupt the body of the paper, or for the discussion of related sources. Footnotes also follow the MLA guidelines for parenthetical citation. Use footnotes sparingly.Number footnotes consecutively. For example, if in the body of your paper you wrote:
Many modernist novels, such as Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, disrupt the traditional balance of power between internal thought and external behavior.
Your footnote, referencing the Auerbach quotation of the previous example, might read as follows:
 For example, Erich Auerbach states in Mimesis that "in Virginia Woolf's case the exterior events have actually lost their hegemony, they serve to release and interpret inner events" (475).
Or, if a direct quotation is not necessary
 Auerbach, Erich. "The Brown Stocking." Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, p. 475.
For more information on the use of footnotes, consult the MLA Handbook, the English Department’s "Guide to the Preparation of Papers," or:
"MLA Information Notes." Research and Documentation Online [D. Hacker, Bedford/St. Martin’s]
"Sample Footnotes in MLA Style." A Research Guide for Students. [I. Lee]
MLA Format Links
- "MLA Style: English and Other Humanities." Research and Documentation Online. [D. Hacker, Bedford/St. Martin’s]
- MLA Citation Examples. [Honolulu Comm. Coll.]
- MLA Citation Style. [Ohio State Univ.]
Other Citation Styles
Papers written for courses taken in the Barnard English Department should generally be formatted according to the guidelines set forth by the Modern Language Association (MLA), unless otherwise noted by your instructor. Papers written in other departments will often be formatted in other styles, such as Chicago or APA. You should always consult with your professor about proper citation style prior to submitting any written work. Select online resources explaining these styles:
- Chicago Manual of Style Citation Guide [Ohio State Univ.]
- Turabian Style Guide [Univ. of Southern Mississippi]
- "APA Style: The Social Sciences." Research and Documentation Online. [D. Hacker, Bedford/St. Martin’s]
- "CSE Number System." Research and Documentation Online. [D. Hacker, Bedford/St. Martin’s]
Online Citation Tools
There are many web sites that will allow you to input your sources and automatically generate a Works Cited page, or a bibliography. If you use such a tool, you should be certain to double-check each entry, as many of these online resources are not always accurate. If your computer is connected to the Columbia University network, or if you have a Columbia UNI and password, you may download and install a copy of EndNote from Columbia LibraryWeb. This software can be used to create bibliographies in a variety of styles. For more information, see EndNote at Columbia.
To paraphrase is to restate the thoughts of another in your own words. You may find that you often have reason to paraphrase as you produce your own work. While it is acceptable, indeed necessary, to use the ideas of others as the basis for your own analysis, it is similarly necessary to paraphrase accurately, noting your sources.
The following example, which makes use of Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic, demonstrates correct paraphrasing.
Here is an original passage from "Infection in the Sentence," Gilbert and Gubar’s response to Harold Bloom’s Oedipal criticism:
"Surrounded as she is by images of disease, traditions of disease, and invitations both to disease and to dis-ease, it is no wonder that the woman writer has held many mirrors up to the discomforts of her own nature. As we shall see, the notion that 'Infection in the sentence breeds' has been so central a truth for literary women that the great artistic achievements of nineteenth-century novelists and poets from Austen and Shelley to Dickinson and Barrett Browning are often both literally and figuratively concerned with disease, as if to emphasize the effort with which health and wholeness were won from the infectious 'vapors' of despair and fragmentation" (Gilbert and Gubar 57).
Here is a paraphrase of this passage:
According to Gilbert and Gubar, the nineteenth-century female author was inevitably caught up in constricting images and thoughts of gender-specific illnesses, generated by society. As a result, the sentences and verses she penned were often dominated by images of disease and poor health, “as if to emphasize” the difficulty of maintaining “health and wholeness” in a culture which insisted upon her physical and psychological weakness (57).
A paraphrase preserves the logical relationships between ideas present in the original source. No key ideas are omitted, and the meaning of the original passage is not interpreted or expanded upon.
When paraphrasing and summarizing, it is important to maintain the distinction between the language used by the source and your own language. Search for substitute words wherever possible. Substitute word choices or expressions ought to be accurate.
If more than three words in a row from the original text are used, they should be marked as a direct quotation. Paraphrases should be documented according to in-text citation guidelines.
A summary of a passage is shorter and more direct than a paraphrase. Its focus is the primary point or opinion expressed in the passage. A summary of the Gilbert and Gubar statement above might read as follows:
Gilbert and Gubar claim that the nineteenth-century female author focused on images of infection and illness because she was surrounded by these images in everyday life (57).
A summary, like a paraphrase, should preserve the logical relationships between ideas present in the original source, and should refrain from interpretation. If more than three words in a row from the original text are used, they should be marked as a direct quotation. Summaries should be documented according to in-text citation guidelines.
For more information on accurate and inaccurate paraphrasing and summarizing, consult your professor, the English Department’s “Guide to the Preparation of Papers,” the MLA Handbook or Rules for Writers, or see:
- Plagiarism – and how to avoid it! [Univ. of Pennsylvania]
- Paraphrase: Write it in Your Own Words. [Purdue Univ.]
- Practice Exercises in Paraphrasing [Purdue Univ.]
- Paraphrase and Summary [Univ. Toronto]
Examples for Students:
These examples consist of 18 scenarios. Topics covered include: definitions of plagiarism, academic integrity, citation, paraphrasing, summarizing and documentation. All of the quoted passages in this tutorial are from the following source:
Novak, Barbara. Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting 1825-1875. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Prof. Novak, Barnard’s Professor Emerita of Art History and "one of the most influential theorists of American art," was awarded the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2002.
- Self-Test: Identifying and Avoiding Plagiarism [D. Gardner, Univ. of Hong Kong]
- The Plagiarism Court [Fairfield Univ.]
- What is Plagiarism at Indiana University? [T. Frick, Indiana Univ.]
- Plagiarism and Academic Integrity at Rutgers University [Rutgers Univ.]
- Plagiarism Tutorial [Prentice Hall, Inc.]
- Plagiarism: Test Your Knowledge! [Univ. of Southern Mississippi]
There are a wide variety of services and tools available for faculty members who suspect they have encountered plagiarized work. For more information and resources on this topic, contact the Director of First-Year Writing.
Anderson, Judy. Plagiarism, Copyright Violation, and Other Thefts of Intellectual Property: An Annotated Bibliography with a Lengthy Introduction. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1998.
Avoiding Plagiarism. Online Writing Lab, Purdue University. 14 June 2004. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_plagiar.html.
Barnard College. Department of English. "The Preparation of Papers." New York: Barnard College, 1990.
Barnard College. Honor Board. "The Honor Code." New York: Barnard College, 1995.
Boling, Elizabeth, et al. How To Recognize Plagiarism. 11 Mar. 2004. Instructional Systems Technology Dept., School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington. 14 June 2004. http://www.indiana.edu/~istd/.
Council of Writing Program Administrators. Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices. Jan. 2003. 14 June 2004. http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf.
Cucueco, Katrina, et al. How to Avoid Plagiarism. 1996. Writing Program, Northwestern University. 14 June 2004. http://www.northwestern.edu/uacc/plagiar.html.
Dartmouth College. Committee on Sources. Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgement. 1998. 14 June 2004. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~sources/.
Fister, Barbara, and Diana Hacker. Research and Documentation Online. 14 June 2004. http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/.
Frick, Ted. What is Plagiarism at Indiana University? 10 Mar. 2004. Instructional Systems Technology Dept., School of Education, Indiana University. 14 June 2004. http://education.indiana.edu/~frick/plagiarism/index2.html.
Gardner, David. Self Test: Identifying and Avoiding Plagiarism. 2002. University of Hong Kong. 14 June 2004. http://ec.hku.hk/plagiarism/self_test.htm.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1999.
Guide to Plagiarism and Cyber-Plagiarism. Jan. 2004. University of Alberta Libraries. 14 June 2004. http://www.library.ualberta.ca/guides/plagiarism/index.cfm.
Hanrahan, Michael, et al. Plagiarism Resource Site. 2004. Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Colleges. 14 June 2004. http://leeds.bates.edu/cbb/.
Harris, Robert. Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers. 7 Mar. 2002. 14 June 2004. http://www.virtualsalt.com/antiplag.htm.
Harvey, Gordon. Writing With Sources: A Guide for Harvard Students. 1995. Expository Writing Program, Harvard University. 14 June 2004. http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~expos/sources/.
Harvey, Michael. The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing. 14 June 2004. http://nutsandbolts.washcoll.edu/nb-home.html.
Hilbish, Florence. The Research Paper. New York: Bookman Associates, 1964.
Interactive Tutorials: Plagiarism Self-Test Page. 19 Aug. 2002. Engineering Communication Centre, University of Toronto. 14 June 2004. http://www.ecf.utoronto.ca/~writing/interactive-plagiarismtest.html.
Islam, Ramona. The Plagiarism Court. May 2002. Fairfield University Libraries. 14 June 2004. http://library2.fairfield.edu/instruction/ramona/plagicourt.html.
Lester, James. Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide. 6th ed. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990.
Mallon, Thomas. Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism. New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1989.
Morse, Grant. Complete Guide to Organizing and Documenting Research Papers. New York: Fleet Academic Editions, 1974.
ORI Provides Working Definition of Plagiarism. Dec. 1994. Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. 14 June 2004. http://ori.dhhs.gov/html/policies/plagiarism.asp.
Pinto, Liliana, et al. Library Compass. 2003. Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, Columbia University. 14 June 2004. http://www.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/compass/index.html.
Plagiarism -- and how to avoid it! 1999. Department of English, Drew University. 14 June 2004. http://www.depts.drew.edu/composition/Avoiding_Plagiarism.htm.
Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It. Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University. 14 June 2004. http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity at Rutgers University. 2001. Rutgers University Libraries. 14 June 2004. http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/douglass/sal/plagiarism/intro.html.
Plagiarism and the Acknowledgement of Sources. Columbia College, Columbia University. 14 June 2004. http://www.college.columbia.edu/students/academics/regulations/plagiaris....
Plagiarism Tutorial: Test Your Knowledge. 2002. University Libraries, The University of Southern Mississippi. 14 June 2004. http://www.lib.usm.edu/research/plag/plagiarismtutorial.php.
Princeton University. Office of the Dean of the College. Academic Integrity at Princeton. 2003. 14 June 2004. http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pub/integrity/index.html.
Standler, Ronald B. Plagiarism in Colleges in USA. 2000. 14 June 2004. http://www.rbs2.com/plag.htm.
Stearns, Laurie. "Copy Wrong: Plagiarism, Process, Property, and the Law." Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Ed. Lise Buranen and Alice M. Roy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999.
Student Writing Services: Avoiding Plagiarism. 2004. Writing Teaching Services, Tufts University. 14 June 2004. http://ase.tufts.edu/wts/student/plagiarism.asp.
Understanding Plagiarism. 2004. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 14 June 2004. http://wps.prenhall.com/hss_understand_plagiarism_1.
White, Edward M. "Student Plagiarism as an Institutional and Social Issue." Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Ed. Lise Buranen and Alice M. Roy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999.