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As stated in the Student Guide, students taking a Sophia course must abide by the following Student Honor Code:
Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else's ideas or writing as your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Even if you don’t intend to plagiarize, this behavior is considered unethical, and sometimes even illegal. Unintentional plagiarism occurs when a writer fails to give credit to a source, while intentional plagiarism involves the deliberate use of another’s ideas under the guise of original work.
Plagiarism is most often detected from intentional or unintentional presentation of ideas and writing without proper citation from outside sources such as homework websites, previous learner submissions, or any online content.
All Sophia Touchstones are scanned upon submission through a detection integration built directly into the grading interface. Graders are trained to interpret these results based on the instructions and type of Touchstone. This includes identical matches, matches with minor changes, paraphrased matches, and Artificial Intelligence alerts.
Recycled work, or essays written and graded for previous courses, are also considered a form of plagiarism for Sophia courses and will not be acceptable for grading.
In all academic settings, plagiarism of any kind has consequences. In this course, detected plagiarism will result in the Touchstone being placed in a Plagiarism Detected state with an explanation from the grader describing the type of plagiarism presented. Learners will then have a single opportunity to resubmit.
Additional attempts at plagiarism will be addressed through escalation to the Student Affairs Team as per the Academic Integrity Policy outlined here. The Student Affairs Team may issue sanctions consistent with that policy if plagiarism is detected.
Scanning your own work through a plagiarism detection application or website before submitting your Touchstone may result in a high percentage of detected plagiarism. If you choose to scan your Touchstone through any plagiarism detector before submitting, it is recommended that you include your name, date, and Sophia course information to confirm your identity and the course assignment to rule out intentional or unintentional plagiarism concerns.
When presenting others’ ideas in the context of your writing, there are a few key ways to appropriately indicate where the ideas came from:
Summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting are three different ways to incorporate evidence from other sources into an essay or presentation.
Summarizing means giving a brief overview of the main points or ideas of a piece of writing without relying on specific details or language. This would involve writing something very general about a whole piece of text; by summarizing, you’re giving an overview of the whole piece without using any details or specifics.
Paraphrasing means restating a passage in your own words, keeping the author’s original intent and meaning. This would involve rewriting something that another piece of writing has already said using different words entirely, usually to increase clarity. Paraphrases are therefore only of specific lines or sentences, and they must keep the author’s original meaning intact.
Quoting is repeating the exact words from a piece of writing, with quotation marks surrounding the repeated words. Using quotation marks is essential to make it clear to the reader which words are yours and which come from somewhere else. When quoting, you can also use signal phrases to indicate that you are introducing ideas from another source. A signal phrase is a phrase preceding a quotation that identifies the author of the referenced text.
Whether you are summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting, please remember to always cite any information that comes from an outside source and that is not considered common knowledge.
An in-text citation is an important way to credit a source that is referenced through summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting. It is called an in-text citation because it appears within the text of the essay, not in footnotes or on a reference page. A parenthetical reference is the bibliographic information that is contained within parentheses at the end of an in-text citation.
According to APA guidelines, in-text citations must include the following information:
APA formatting also requires the use of a reference page at the end of an essay to log the sources used. It is a list of all bibliographic data, properly formatted, for all sources cited in the essay. Sources that were consulted but not cited or used directly should not be listed on the reference page. It's important to document sources correctly, so that every in-text citation correlates to its source listed on the reference page. It should not be difficult for readers to match one to the other.
These are the basic formatting requirements for an APA-style reference page:
The following resources may be helpful to you as you work on your Touchstone assignment. These resources can also be found in the “Additional Resources” section of the Touchstone assignment page: