HSS Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s words, phrases, ideas, or conclusions as your own--even when the identity of the person is not known, as is often the case with sources on the Internet. Ethically, plagiarism is false assumption of authorship: the act of taking another person’s language or thought—or language or thought from an anonymous source—and presenting it as your own. Plagiarism or academic dishonesty may take any of the following forms:

  • Repeating another person’s sentences or phrases as your own
  • Presenting another person’s argument or central ideas as your own
  • Letting another person write your paper
  • Copying or downloading a paper (or part of a paper) from the Internet
  • Misrepresenting in any way how the work was actually done in the submission of a research report
  • Purchasing a paper for submission under your own name
  • Selling or otherwise distributing any written material with the intent or understanding that another person may submit the work as his or her own
  • Cheating on a written examination, such as referring to notes, books, laptop computers (or other electronic devices) without the explicit permission from the instructor
  • Submitting work written or prepared for one course to fulfill requirements for a second course without prior permission from the instructors in both courses (regardless of whether or not the courses are taken in the same semester)

These are all acts of plagiarism or academic dishonesty whether they are done intentionally or unintentionally, on any essay, examination, exercise, report (including oral reports), or other type of writing assignment.

The means to prevent plagiarism in essays are: quotation marks around passages taken verbatim from sources; names of sources cited frequently in paraphrases or summaries; and complete documentation of sources in the text of essays and in footnotes, endnotes, or lists of “works cited” or “references,” including language or ideas taken from an Internet source. Students uncertain how to avoid plagiarism should discuss plagiarism with their instructors or with associates in the Center for Writing.

In the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at The Cooper Union, the guidelines for cases of plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, are as follows:

The essay or examination will receive a grade of F.

The instructor will inform the Dean of The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, who will report the plagiarism to the appropriate academic Dean in the School in which the student is enrolled.

At the discretion of the instructor, the student may be allowed to rewrite the essay or examination on acknowledgement of plagiarism and instruction on plagiarism in The Center for Writing and Language Arts.

At the discretion of the instructor, the student may be withdrawn immediately from the course and given a grade of F in it. In such cases, further action may be taken, such as probation, suspension, or dismissal.

Every Faculty member is obligated to report all cases of plagiarism to the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences so that appropriate action may be taken.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.