High school teaches more than just basic subjects such as science or math. It also teaches about ethical behavior and how to be a responsible citizen. Plagiarism is a form of academic cheating, and most high schools have a policy in place regarding this issue.

Plagiarism Basics

When you use another person’s work, including text, data or graphics, and attempt to pass it off as your own, you are committing plagiarism. There are two forms of plagiarism: intentional and technical. Intentional plagiarism occurs when you blatantly submit someone else’s work as your own. Technical plagiarism occurs when you improperly cite or document a source, so it misrepresents the work as your own.

Determining Plagiarism Has Occurred

When a teacher suspects that a student has turned in a paper that has been plagiarized, the teacher may run the paper through an online plagiarism detector. Once evidence has been compiled showing that plagiarism has occurred, a committee of teachers and administrators may convene to review the offending work. This committee will confirm whether and to what level plagiarism has occurred and what penalties should be applied.


Plagiarism is an act of misconduct at most high schools, and their policy often includes both academic and disciplinary consequences. At Ledyard High School in Connecticut, a student receives a grade of zero for an assignment and may be suspended for intentional plagiarism. For technical plagiarism, there is a deduction of points, determined by the teacher based on the severity. A student’s parent is always contacted in the event of plagiarism.

Avoiding Plagiarism

No student should ever cheat to pass an assignment. Many high school plagiarism policies outline ways to promote honest student behavior. At Hopkins High School in Minnesota, students are advised to indicate where information came from within the text of their paper and to keep track of the source and page number. At North Hunterdon High School in New Jersey, students are advised not to read or scan someone else’s paper before writing their own. When students study for a test together, they are told to avoid sitting near one another during the test.

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