COMM 711
Fall 2011

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Academic Integrity and Intellectual Property

You are responsible for knowing the university's policy on academic integrity. The principles governing that policy are two-fold: (1) the work that I should mark as yours is material that you have authored, and (2) you have the responsibility to give recognition to others whose work you incorporate in your projects. You should review the university's policy and make certain that you implement these two principles.

In our society's unique mix of individuality and cooperation, learning how to walk the often fine line between work for which you have responsibility and work that is shared is vitally important. Let's start with our system of education. You are graded on your own work, not that of others. At the same time, I encourage you to work with fellow students in studying the speeches and reading each other’s work. So where do you draw the line?

Obviously, one end of possibilities goes without saying: things like handing in papers you have purchased from internet sources or "paper mills" violates principles of academic integrity. But there are other important things you need to know and develop a feel for such as when to cite the work of others in your essays and when information can be used without being attributed. The guidelines of the university policy will assist with your mastering that. I will be more than happy to assist at any time during the semester. If any of these suggestions or the University's material is unclear, I urge you to ask me. The responsibility for understanding academic integrity is yours, but it is also excellent grist for our seminarish mill.

Beyond the university however, the internet age has brought complicating factors to intellectual property issues. How easy it is to just copy and paste from the internet! Part of the mark of being a scholar is having thought through these issues. But another part of being a scholar is thinking through the plethora of strategies for acknowledging the influence of others. You can do so by referencing the work of others. You can do so in an author’s note or even a content note in your manuscript. You can do so with co-authorship. The sensitivity I expect from you is to understand your debts. The skill I expect is to see those debts reflected in your work.

Course Copyright Information

Speaking of intellectual property, you retain the copyright on papers and statements you make in this seminar. The course materials I create and distribute for your learning, including power point presentations, content of the website, and similar materials, are protected by federal copyright law as my original works. You are permitted to take notes and to use course materials for your use in this course. You are not authorized to reproduce or distribute notes of lectures or my course materials or make any commercial use of them without my express written consent. Those who sell or distribute copies or modified copies of instructors' course materials or assist another person or entity in selling or distributing those materials may be considered in violation of the University Code of Student Conduct, Part 9(k).


Obviously this is a seminar and your attendance is assumed. I would also add that in a seminar like this -- with a rather constant commitment to writing -- absences are usually a symptom of a greater problem -- keeping up -- that is of even more concern.