AA20: Plagiarism

  • Policy #: AA20
  • Responsible Authority: Dean, Academic Development
  • Approval Authority: Algonquin College Executive Team
  • Executive Sponsor: Senior Vice President, Academic
  • Approval Date: 2006/08/28
  • Last Reviewed: 2016/03/23
  • Mandatory Revision Date: 2021/03/23
  • Downloadable Version: Plagiarism

To document the penalties to be imposed for an act of academic dishonesty specific to plagiarism.

This policy applies to all students.  




Academic Dishonesty

Cheating as defined in AA18 Academic Dishonesty and Discipline Policy Section 3

Academic Sanction

Penalty imposed as a result of an act of plagiarism

Academic Integrity

Respect for opinions and ideas of others

Academic Administrator

Program Chair, Academic Manager, Course Chair, or Dean


A specific act of academic dishonesty as defined in Policy Plagiarism Statement 1

Algonquin College expects students to follow acceptable standards of academic honesty crucial to the teaching learning process. Academic work submitted by a student is evaluated on the assumption that the work presented by the student is his or her own, unless designated otherwise. Plagiarism constitutes an act of academic dishonesty.

1.  Plagiarism, whether done deliberately or accidentally, is defined as presenting someone else’s work, in whole or in part, as one’s own. It includes the verbal or written submission of another work without crediting that source. This applies to ideas, wording, code, graphics, music, and inventions. It includes all electronic sources, including the Internet, television, video, film, and recordings, all print and written sources, such as books, periodicals, lyrics, government publications, promotional materials, and academic assignments; and all verbal sources such as conversations and interviews. Sharing one’s work with other students is also considered an act of plagiarism.
2.  The College has a responsibility to educate students about plagiarism. Students will be taught how to document sources correctly and will be provided with feedback to support the learning of this skill.
3.  The terms and use of the Algonquin College Student Information System (ACSIS) agreement requires that students acknowledge that they are aware of their “…responsibility to review and be aware of the policies that govern the College’s operations and protection of students rights”.
4.  Once annually at the beginning of a term, students are to submit a declaration attesting that the work they will be submitting will be their own (Appendix 1). Students may be asked to submit one declaration that will include all the courses for their program level, one declaration for each course or one declaration with each assignment, at the discretion of the Department. Students are subject to this policy whether or not they sign the declaration. 

Response to Acts of Plagiarism
1.  The College insists on academic integrity and shall act on all reported incidents of plagiarism, whether deliberate or accidental.
2.  Students who commit plagiarism will be subject to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action will take the form of an academic sanction(s) and will reflect the severity of the offense committed.
3.  Each student with a specific role in a group assignment will be held responsible for the academic integrity of the work submitted. Plagiarism on the part of one or more of the group members may affect the group evaluation, at the discretion of the professor, unless the work in question can be directly credited to a specific student in the group. In such instances grade weighting adjustments may be considered.
4.  Academic sanctions are assigned according to the nature and extent of the act of academic dishonesty. A repeated act of plagiarism will result in harsher sanctions. Academic sanctions may include one or more of the following:

a.  requirement that the student complete a course(s) related to academic integrity; ‘Academic Integrity’ for offences of a non-intentional nature and/or ‘Ethics for Academic Integrity’ for intentional plagiarism offences;
b.  requirement that the student resubmit the assignment;
c.  requirement that the student submit additional work;
d.  reduction of the weight for the assignment towards the overall course grade;
e.  assigning the grade of zero for the assignment;
f.  assigning the grade of F for the course;
g.  suspension from the Program;
h.  suspension from the College.

5.  The Academic Administrator will oversee the application of the sanctions concerning plagiarism and will maintain a confidential list of students who have committed plagiarism and the sanctions imposed.
6.  Each School will maintain a complete list of students who have committed plagiarism for all its departments.
7.  Any academic sanction imposed as a result of plagiarism is to be kept electronically on the student’s file on the Student Information System.  Records will be held intact for one year following the student’s last academic activity.
8.  Students can appeal a charge of plagiarism and/or the sanctions under the Policy AA19 Academic Appeal.







Witnessing an Act of Plagiarism




Inform the student of an observation of an alleged act of Plagiarism.




Confiscate the assignment or project along with any incriminating evidence immediately.




Within four (4) working days, meet in-person (teleconference or virtually when necessary), with the student to discuss the incident and to determine whether or not the student did not know how to document correctly.




Learning to Document Correctly




Provide the student with appropriate feedback and apply appropriate mark deduction if the incident is part of learning to document correctly.




File a Plagiarism Incident Reporting Form after the student has received adequate instruction on appropriate documentation of sources and has been provided with sufficient opportunity to demonstrate this skill and receive feedback if,

a.       the discrepancy between the expected standard and the student’s performance is significant, or

b.      the student’s actions demonstrate a reckless or wilful disregard for the appropriate documentation of sources.




Plagiarism Incident




Provide details of the plagiarism incident to the Academic Administrator within four (4) working days using the Plagiarism Incident Reporting Form (Appendix 2).




Schedule a meeting with the Professor that reported the incident and the student to review the circumstances surrounding the incident within five (5) working days of receiving the Plagiarism Incident Reporting Form.


Academic Administrator


At the end of the meeting, ask the student to respond in writing, to the allegation within four (4) working days, using the Student’s Comment section of the Plagiarism Incident Reporting Form (Appendix 2). Should the student choose not to respond to the incident at any point in the procedure, the investigation will proceed to its conclusion.


Academic Administrator


If the student acknowledges his/her error, impose an academic sanction at the end of this meeting or within twenty four (24) hours.


Academic Administrator


After considering the information presented, including the student’s response if submitted, determine whether or not an act of plagiarism has occurred.


Academic Administrator


If it is determined that an act of plagiarism has occurred, in consultation with the Professor, assign the academic sanction appropriate to the incident. Academic sanctions are assigned according to the nature and extent of the act of academic dishonesty. A repeated act of plagiarism will result in harsher sanctions.


Academic Administrator


Notify the student, in writing, of the academic sanction being imposed, within four (4) working days of receiving the student response and send a copy of the letter to the Professor.   This notice is to indicate the student’s right to appeal under Policy AA 19 Academic Appeal.


Academic Administrator


Forward the completed “Plagiarism Incident Reporting Form” (Appendix 2) to the Dean’s Office and to the Registrar’s Office for inclusion on the student’s file.


Academic Administrator

Appendix 1        Student Attestation of Academic Honesty
Appendix 2       Plagiarism Incident Reporting Form

AA19     Academic Appeal
AA18     Academic Dishonesty & Discipline