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The principles of truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to a community of scholars and teachers. Sacramento State expects that faculty, staff, and students will honor these principles, and in so doing, will protect the integrity of academic work and student grades. Students are expected to know and abide by University policy about cheating, including plagiarism. The entire document, Policies and Procedures Regarding Academic Honesty, may be found on the University’s Web site. Key points are summarized here.


A. Cheating: At Sacramento State, cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means. Cheating at Sacramento State includes but is not limited to:

1. Copying, in part or in whole, from another’s test or other evaluation

2. Using crib sheets, “cheat notes,” or any other device in aid of writing the exam not permitted by the instructor;

3. Submitting work previously graded in another course unless this has been approved by the course instructor or by departmental policy;

4. Submitting work simultaneously presented in two courses, unless
this has been approved by both course instructors or by the department policies of both departments;

5. Altering or interfering with grading or grading instructions;

6. Sitting for an examination by a surrogate, or as a surrogate;

7. Any other act committed by a student in the course of his or her academic work which defrauds or misrepresents, including aiding or abetting in any of the actions defined above.

B. Plagiarism: At Sacramento State plagiarism is the use of distinctive ideas or works belonging to another person without providing adequate acknowledgement of that person’s contribution. Regardless of the means of appropriation, incorporation of another’s work into one’s own requires adequate identification and acknowledgement. Plagiarism is doubly unethical because it deprives the author of rightful credit and gives credit to someone who has not earned it. Acknowledgement is not necessary when the material used is common knowledge. Plagiarism at Sacramento State includes but is not limited to:

1. The act of incorporating the ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, or parts thereof, or the specific substance of another’s work, without giving appropriate credit, and representing the product as one’s own work. Examples include not only word-for-word copying, but also the “mosaic” (i.e., interspersing a few of one’s own words while, in essence, copying another’s work), the paraphrase (i.e., rewriting another’s work while still using the other’s fundamental idea or theory); fabrication (i.e, inventing or counterfeiting sources), ghost-writing (i.e., submitting another’s work as one’s own), and failure to include quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged; and

2. Representing another’s artistic or scholarly works such as musical
compositions, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawing, sculptures, or similar works as one’s own.


The instructor of record in a course where academic dishonesty is alleged to have occurred and the Office of Student Affairs shall have exclusive jurisdiction of the trial of charges of academic dishonesty that may give rise to academic and administrative sanctions under this policy.

Academic and administrative sanctions may be imposed for violations of this policy. Academic sanctions are defined as those actions related to the coursework and grades and are the province of the instructor. Administrative sanctions may alter a student’s status on campus and are assigned by the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs. The imposition of one type of sanction shall not preclude the additional imposition of the other.


Nothing in this policy is intended to deny students who come within its scope appropriate due process, including the right to be informed of the charges, the nature of the evidence supporting the charges, and the right to have a meeting with the faculty member, the Judicial Affairs Officer, or other decision-maker, at which time statements and evidence on behalf of the student may be submitted. The student also has the right to a determination of the facts of the case based on a preponderance of the evidence presented. Nor is anything in this policy intended to deny the right to appeal, through appropriate University channels, any decision resulting from such a meeting. In the case where an appeal is made alleging that the grade-sanction was not proportional to the offense and therefore arbitrary, the appeal is governed by the grade appeal process.