Current Students

Plagiarism & Student Conduct Policy

The University of Washington defines plagiarism as:

  • Using another writer’s words without proper citation
  • Using another writer’s ideas without proper citation
  • Citing your source but reproducing the exact words of a printed source without quotation marks
  • Borrowing the structure of another author’s phrases or sentences without crediting the author from whom it came
  • Borrowing all or part of another student’s paper or using someone else’s outline to write your own paper
  • Using a paper writing “service” or having a friend write the paper for you
  • In computer programming classes, borrowing computer code from another student and presenting it as your own


Consequences of suspected or proven plagiarism

  1. Suspected plagiarism should first be addressed by the instructor of the course where the suspected plagiarism has occurred. The instructor should meet with the student to present evidence of suspected plagiarism and to discuss the instructor’s concerns. As a result of this conversation, the instructor may:
    1. Provide a verbal or written warning to the student (with copies or written documentation or written report of verbal warning to student to Student and Academic Services)
    2. Require the student to repeat the assignment
    3. Reduce the student’s grade for the assignment in accordance with the criteria outlined in the course syllabus
    4. Give the student a zero for the assignment as specified in the course syllabus
  2. The instructor may also refer a suspected issue of suspected academic misconduct to the Committee on Academic Conduct. To do so, the faculty should:
    1. Discuss the issue with the student as specified in #1 above.
    2. Assign an ‘X’ grade for the course until the matter is resolved.
    3. Refer the issue to the Dean’s Representative for Academic Conduct (general the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) to begin an impartial third-party hearing.
    4. Notify the student that the issue has been referred to the Dean’s Representative for further action.
  3. The Dean’s Representative will conduct an informal hearing according to the following steps:
    1. Receive a description and supporting evidence of the issue from the instructor
    2. Ask the student to meet to discuss the problem
    3. Determine whether or not a violation of academic conduct occurred
    4. Specifies the sanction, if appropriate. In general, sanctions may take the form of:
      1. Disciplinary warning
      2. Reprimand
      3. Restitution
      4. Disciplinary Probation
      5. Suspension
      6. Dismissal
    5. The Dean’s Representative then writes a letter to the student summarizing the concerns, findings, and sanctions if applicable (with a copy to the instructor and to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life)
    6. Notify the student of his/her rights to further appeal to the University Disciplinary Committee.
  4. The University Appeals Committee reviews all decisions at the request of the student after the Dean’s Representative has evaluated the case. Refer to for University appeals process flow.
  5. Confidentiality and Recordkeeping
    1. No record of this process is kept in the student file.
    2. The Dean’s Representative will keep a copy of any discussion/decision in a confidential file to provide documentation in the event of repeat incidents of academic misconduct.
    3. This documentation may be purged from the student file upon graduation, at the student’s written request.


External resources