West Seattle High School

West Seattle
High School
Social Studies Department



What is the definition of Plagiarism?

  • To steal and pass off the ideas or words from another person’s work as your own without crediting the source.
  • To commit intellectual theft, which is presenting work as a new and original idea or product that comes from an existing source.

What does Plagiarism look like?

  • Cheating, copying the work of other person, or turning in another’s paper, project, assignment, etc., as your own.
  • Using another’s words or ideas without proper citation.
  • Rearranging or changing a few of the author’s/website’s words and presenting it as your own work and NOT:
    • using quotation marks
    • citing the source.
  • Having someone else write your paper, program, or project,
    • by including asking friends or family
    • paying someone
    • using a paper writing service
    • taking information word-for-word off the internet without proper citation.

How do I avoid Plagiarism? (Citing Works and Footnoting)

  • If you are unsure, ask your teacher for help.
  • Develop your own thoughts, ideas, interpretations, and conclusions.
  • Anytime you use someone else’s ideas, language, evidence, etc.,CITE IT. Either as an in-text/footnote citation and/or in your Works Cited page.

Helpful Links:

What are the consequences for Plagiarizing?

West Seattle High School Plagiarism Policy

D-245 Plagiarism Sanctions

(Aligned with SPS Practices and Procedures for District Offenses Within a Positive School Climate, approved 2014-15)

1st Offense :

  • Parent/guardian will be contacted and the policy reviewed with parent/guardian and student.
  • Completion of the original assignment (e.g. re-writes paper, makes-up test, re-does project, etc.)
  • The student must complete the assignment on his or her own time (in or out of class, or under supervision) based on teacher/administrator discretion.
  • At the discretion of the teacher students may be required to complete an alternative assignment of their own original work for the purpose of accurately assessing the student’s knowledge/skills.
  • The assignment will be marked “incomplete” until this step is complete.
  • Plagiarized assignments that are not completed may result in student receiving an incomplete and/or no credit in the course.

2nd Offense :

  • All sanctions for 1st offense apply plus the following:
  • Parent/guardian conference with student, teacher(s), counselor and other stakeholders to discuss causes/issues and determine interventions (e.g. attendance at MASH, tutoring, etc.).  
  • Student must complete restorative sanctions, (e.g. research of university and/or other applicable policies, completion of restorative justice process, community service, written apologies, etc.) at the discretion of teacher, administrator, and/or restorative justice process.

3rd Offense :

  • Sanctions for 1st and 2nd offenses may apply at the discretion of teacher/administrator plus the following:
  • Student’s grade in the course becomes “incomplete” and parent/guardian conference with student is immediately scheduled to discuss student participation in the course.
  • Student participation in extra-curricular activities and athletic eligibility may be revoked at the discretion of the administration and/or restorative justice process.