All written work for this class must be your own individual work unless
otherwise directed by lawyering faculty. You may not collaborate on any writing
due in this class unless expressly permitted by lawyering faculty. Any paper
that is not completely your own work will automatically fail, and the incident
will be reported to the Dean for appropriate disciplinary action.
To refresh your memory, read the following dictionary definitions of
plagiarism and the material about plagiarism quoted from a law review
Plagiarize: "To steal and use (the ideas or writings of another) as one's
own." (Emphasis supplied.) "To appropriate passages or ideas from (another)
and use them as one's own." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English
Language 1001 (1969)
Plagiarism: "The act of appropriating the literary composition of another,
or parts or passages of his writing, or the ideas of language of the same and
passing them off as the product of one's own mind.
To be liable for plagiarism it is not necessary to exactly duplicate
another's literary work, it being sufficient if unfair use of such work is made
by lifting of substantial portion thereof . . . . O'Rourke v. RKO Radio Picture,
D.C. Mass., 44 F. Supp. 480, 482, 483." Black's Law Dictionary 1035 (5th ed.
"At face value, these definitions [referring to similar but not identical
definitions] might appear to be fairly straightforward and understandable. That
appearance belies two problems with defining plagiarism: First, many persons
are unaware of the technical definition of plagiarism. Consequently, they
perceive plagiarism to be only intentional, wholesale copying of large passages,
and are oblivious to the fact that borrowed words, phrases and ideas are
included in the definition . . .
Many writers labor under the mistaken impression that they are not
plagiarizing when they 'paraphrase' by substituting their own words for selected
ones in a lifted sentence, while retaining the basic thought, order, and syntax
of the original . . . . [P]roper paraphrasing requires completely
interpreting or translating a passage into different words . . . "
Comment, Plagiarism in Legal Scholarship, 15 Toledo L. Rev. 233, 235-36,
237-38 (1983) (emphasis provided). For a discussion of plagiarism in education,
see R.D. Mawdsley, Legal Aspects of Plagiarism (1985) (available in our
For more information concerning the school's policy on plagiarism, please
consult your Student Handbook. You are considered to be on notice of the