Academic Honesty and Plagiarism

As provided for by the Bowdoin College Academic Honor Code, uncompromised intellectual inquiry lies at the heart of a liberal arts education. Integrity is essential in creating an academic environment dedicated to the development of independent modes of learning, analysis, judgment, and expression. Academic dishonesty, in or out of the classroom, is antithetical to the College’s institutional values and constitutes a violation of the Academic Honor Code.

Before Bowdoin students matriculate, we sign the Honor Pledge, which reflects the our collective agreement to uphold our commitment to academic integrity. Every time a student completes an assignment for evaluation—including drafts and extra credit work—we are reaffirming our commitment to the Honor Pledge.

Learning to think creatively and independently is a critically important goal of a Bowdoin education, and academic honesty reinforces this objective. In addition to expressing your unique ideas about a topic, a paper, project, or other assignment should clearly document the sources you consulted while developing those ideas. Remember it is your responsibility to clarify your faculty member’s expectations about what is permissible to complete an assignment.

Bowdoin is a place of abundant resources and it’s our job as students to not only know how and when to access these tools but learning to use these resources is part of our education at Bowdoin. The following is a short list of resources related to plagiarism and other academic integrity issues. There are many more, but here are some things to help you get started:

Information on what constitutes “plagiarism,” including:

Plagiarism is more than deliberately copying someone else’s work. In fact, each year the Board hears involving plagiarism that was the result of: 

  • Poor notetaking
  • Failure to understand collaboration policies
  • Procrastination
  • Incomplete understanding of original material or misunderstanding what constitutes a primary source verses a secondary source, and when to cite to which
  • Failure to cite source material


Bowdoin College would like to acknowledge the use within this website of content from the CBB (Colby, Bates and Bowdoin) Plagiarism Resource Site, a collaborative project originally funded by the Center for Educational Technology, Middlebury College and developed by Colby, Bates and Bowdoin Colleges. The CBB site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The College would also like to thank MIT for granting permission to link into the MIT Academic Integrity website.