Plagiarism and Cheating

How do I know what is legitimate borrowing from a source and what is plagiarism?

The Department of Rhetoric and Composition teaches what does and does not constitute plagiarism in its courses. Therefore, students will know how to make this distinction and will be warned by teachers about the dangers and consequences of doing so.

How will the Department of Rhetoric and Composition instructor know if I have copied my paper from the Internet, or had the paper written by a professional writing service?

The instructor will see the difference in your writing style quite easily because you will be asked to write some of your work in class. Secondly, since most instructors require that you submit an electronic copy of your work. The Department of Rhetoric and Composition will routinely check papers using a special anti-plagiarism program which tracks down any text of more than one sentence that is taken from any Internet source, or has been written by a professional writing service. The AUC subscribes to a service that will allow us to track down any plagiarism (see All students are required to register for and must submit at least one draft of each assignment electronically to

Academic Integrity and Turnitin

The Policy at AUC
At AUC we take plagiarism very seriously. Make sure to carefully read the university’s academic integrity policy, which can be found here.​

The Policy at the Department of Rhetoric and Composition

In accordance with the AUC’s efforts to promote a culture of academic integrity on campus, the Rhetoric and Composition Department has a strict policy regarding academic dishonesty and to this end requires that all students utilize the resources of Turnitin for all drafts of major assignments ( and promote the AUC Code of Ethics and Students’ Best Practices.

​Consequences of Violations of Academic Integrity by RhetComp Students
Any violation of academic integrity (plagiarism, cheating, data fabrication, submitting an assignment or part of an assignment written for another course, impersonation, etc.) may automatically result in a grade of “F” for the course in which the offence was committed.

Procedures for Reporting a Violation of Academic Integrity

  1. All violations of academic integrity will be reported first to the Chair/Associate Chair of the Rhetoric and Composition Department.
  2. Instructors submit the Academic Integrity Violation Report to the Academic Integrity Committee after it has been approved by the Chair/Associate Chair. After that approval has been received, the instructor will inform you about the failure of the course and the submission of the report and explain why it is being submitted.
  3. The instructor will send you an email that notifies you that your case is being reported to the Academic Integrity Committee, with a copy of the report submitted to this committee.
  4. A student will not have to appear before the Academic Integrity Committee without having learned from the instructor why this will be required.

Procedures for Student and Instructor Use of Turnitin

  1. Instructors will require students to submit all drafts of major assignments and any other important assignments to
  2. Instructors will carefully check the Turnitin originality report to confirm that a high percentage (anything above 5%) is not due to overuse of direct quotes, sloppy but cited paraphrases of the source, or other less than serious causes that might constitute a violation.
  3. Images and presentation slides will also be checked for originality and/or proper documentation.