Integrity Matters
Citing and Documenting
Surviving the Semester


Failure to acknowledge sources, textual, personal, electronic upon which you have relied is a serious breach of academic integrity. Such a failure can lead to an accusation of plagiarism - defined as the use of any source, published or unpublished, without proper acknowledgement or other forms of academic dishonesty. Other forms of academic dishonesty include any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student's academic performance or achievement. An Honor Code Violation is a very serious charge at Williams, which can result in one or a combination of the following:
  • failure for an assignment
  • failure for the course
  • disciplinary probation
  • suspension from the College for a specified period of time
  • or permanent expulsion from the College.

The most important thing to know is this: whether you fail to cite your sources deliberately or inadvertently, you will still be found responsible for the act of plagiarism. All acts of academic dishonesty are discouraged. Ignorance of academic regulations or the excuse of sloppy or rushed work does not constitute an acceptable defense against the charge of plagiarism or academic dishonesty.

If you have questions or are unsure if something falls under "academic dishonesty" speak with your professor or the Dean. They are here to help you and would much rather answer your questions early on than find you in trouble later. Remember: There are also a number of Campus Resources available free of charge to support your academic life.