“In the academic realm, integrity is the foundation of good scholarship. West Point is committed to the development of lifelong habits of integrity” (DAW 1).
“Proper documentation helps delineate your role as an author by showing what portions of any work you submit are yours and what portion is the work of others. Proper documentation is both a testament to academic merit and an expression of your integrity” (DAW 1).
In college writing, you must give credit to ideas and words you obtain from others.
You must give credit to ideas and words you find in texts, presentations, Websites, movies, artworks, and other sources.
You must also give credit to ideas and words you obtain from other cadets, instructors other than your own, tutors, ORs, and friends and family.
In EN101, you will employ MLA documentation techniques for formatting your composition, citing sources, and compiling a Works Cited page.
You will also incorporate several features specific to West Point.
-a Cover Page with an Acknowledgement Statement
-techniques for acknowledging assistance you may receive while composing your essay.
The DAW and the MLA Documentation Model Essay provide examples of all these features.
-The Little, Brown Handbook also provides sample essays and chapters devoted to explaining how to cite sources.
Basic and Extended Proofreading
Basic proofreading: If another individual helps you correct spelling errors, occasional grammatical mistakes, and slight stylistic flaws, you do not have to document the assistance.
Extended proofreading: If another individual helps you alter the style, format, organization, or substance of your essay, you have to document the assistance. If another individual provides extensive assistance correcting grammar errors, then you must document the assistance. See DAW and the MLA Model Essay for examples of how to document.
You do not have to document the use of spelling and grammar checkers that come with your USMA-issued computer.
Common Knowledge does not have to be documented.
-Ideas offered in or out of class by your instructor.
-Ideas offered in class by other students in the class.
-Biographical information about the authors and publication data about the essays included in the course reader (A World of Ideas).
Ideas and opinions contained in the essays included in the course reader are not Common Knowledge and must be documented.
Ideas and opinions offered in the explanatory material of the course reader are not Common Knowledge and must be documented.
Advice for Students
When in doubt, DOCUMENT!
Actively document sources and assistance received while working on assignments, not just at the end.
Collaborate and receive assistance face-to-face instead of sending documents for reference. If you send your document to another student, you lose control of your intellectual property.
Never modify a document received from another cadet; print the document and use it as a guide.
Complete your assignments before coming to class; do not try to put everything together at the last minute.
When submitting group work, each member should review all documentation for clarity and acknowledgement. PAUSE to REFLECT.
Practices to Avoid
The following are considered “Intentional Plagiarism” under the DAW (11) and may be considered cheating under the Cadet Honor Code:
-Copying or downloading a phrase, a sentence, or a longer passage from a source, and passing it off as your own by omitting quotation marks and a source citation.
-Summarizing or paraphrasing someone else’s ideas without acknowledging your debt in a source citation.
-Handing in your own work a paper you have bought, copied from the Web, had a friend write, or accepted from another student.
Examples taken from The Little, Brown Handbook, page 626.
What MLA Citation Looks Like (1)
Example One: Machiavelli writes, “A prince, therefore, must not have any other object nor any other thought, nor must he take anything as his profession but war…” (39).
Example Two: Machiavelli states that a prince “must not have any other object nor any other thought” than the profession of arms (39).
What MLA Citation Looks Like (2)
Machiavelli asserts that princes should devote themselves to military study because political success depends on military expertise (40).
As the editorial introduction to “The Qualities of the Prince” explains, Machiavelli’s instructions are “curiously devoid of any high-sounding moralizing or any encouragement to be good as a matter of principle” (Jacobus 37).
What MLA Works Cited Citations Look Like
Machiavelli, Niccolo. “The Qualities of the Prince.” A World of Ideas. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. Eighth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 39-52. Print.
Jacobus, Lee A., ed. A World of Ideas. Eighth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. Print.
Smith, John CDT A-1 ’12. Assistance given to the author, verbal discussion. CDT Smith helped me understand why Machiavelli believed that every political leader must also be a master of military arts. CDT Smith explained that Machiavelli thought that political leaders without military expertise and military force at his disposal could never command respect or obedience from followers, especially those who did possess military might. I have incorporated these ideas into my paper. West Point, NY. 18 Oct. 2009.