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    Note on plagiarism

    Plagiarism will not be tolerated on the Udacity platform.

    We believe that plagiarism reduces a student’s chances of success, as a student who plagiarizes often fails to gain the deep understanding that comes through grappling with challenging concepts. Without the understanding that comes with independently completing projects, students may be less confident in interviews and may struggle to put concepts into practice in a job setting.  Plagiarism also impairs the integrity of Udacity’s learning environment and harms the value of our Nanodegree programs for our students.

    This section describes what Udacity considers to be plagiarism in the context of our products and learning environment. Nanodegree programs are intended to teach students key concepts that foster successful outcomes in a field of study and in career paths thereafter.

    What is plagiarism?

    Plagiarism is any act claiming or implying another person’s work is your own. Plagiarism at Udacity can range from submitting a project you didn’t create to copying code into a program without citation. Any action in which you misleadingly claim an idea or piece of work as your own when it is not constitutes plagiarism.

    The below are some coding-specific examples of what constitutes plagiarism on the Udacity platform and what Udacity considers to be acceptable behavior, as well as some guidelines for submitting original work. While specific to coding, the below concepts can also apply to written content, images, UI designs, and other content created by another person. Please also note that these examples are not meant to be exhaustive, and Udacity reserves the right to take action, as it deems appropriate, if it appears that your submission is, in any way, not your own work.

    Examples of plagiarism:

    • Copying someone’s code exactly, in whole or part (verbatim).
    • Combining code copied verbatim from multiple sources.
    • Copying someone’s code, in whole or part, and making changes (e.g. changing variable or function names, comments, order of function definition).
    • Two or more students who work on a project together and end up with the identical code submission, or significant portions of their submissions show duplicated code.

    Not Plagiarism:

    • Looking at someone else’s code to get a general idea of implementation, then putting it away and starting to write your own code from scratch.
    • Copying code or using code that has been provided for you and approved for use in your project by Udacity without attribution.
    • Two or more students who discuss a project together to get a general idea of implementation, then separate to each write their own code individually.
    • Using or adapting and then properly attributing (give date and URL) a small piece of helper code, either open source or written by someone else who has provided their consent to such use and/or adaptation. The helper code must not be directly relevant to the concepts being assessed in your assignment.

    Guidelines for work submission

    Do not copy the code, or part of the code, or use any cut and paste mechanisms verbatim.

    If you feel it would benefit you to look at someone else’s implementation of a particular coding exercise, take notes only on the coding concepts employed while you read through their code. Do not copy the code, or part of the code, or use any cut and paste mechanisms verbatim. In your notes, write things like “They are using the Python function ‘reversed’ to reverse strings.” Once you have read through any code, use your notes to start coding in a fresh window.

    If you are working with a group of students to try to understand a concept, make sure everyone understands that you will be splitting up afterward to complete the code on your own. If you end up writing code together, make it clear that you will not be using this code verbatim in your assignment.

    Why is plagiarism in learning damaging?

    Plagiarism hurts you and your learning path at Udacity, and hurts the Udacity community in the following ways:

    • You deny yourself the opportunity to learn and practice skills that may be needed in your future career.

    • You deny yourself the opportunity to receive honest feedback on how to improve your skills and performance.

    • You invite future employers and teachers to question your integrity and performance in general if you have not mastered essential skills.

    • You commit fraud on the reviewers who are evaluating your work.

    • You deprive another author due credit for his or her work and intellectual property.

    • You show disrespect for your Udacity peers who have done their own hard work on projects.

    Consequences of plagiarism

    Plagiarism is a violation of the Udacity Honor Code.

    Udacity has zero tolerance for plagiarized work submitted in any Nanodegree program. If after review of the suspected plagiarism, Udacity determines that the work is not your own, you will be notified and the submission will be rejected.

    We may take other action in connection with your participation in any program or our services as appropriate, up to and including expulsion from your Nanodegree program or the Udacity platform without refund.

    To the extent we discover plagiarism after you graduate from a Nanodegree program, Udacity also reserves the right to revoke your graduation credential.

    Unacceptable excuses for plagiarism

    “I’m too busy. I am unable to keep up with the pace of my Nanodegree program.”

    If you are struggling to keep up, you have many options, beginning with contacting student support. Our goal is to ensure you have a successful learning experience, and we will support you to the full extent we can. Plagiarism is NEVER an acceptable response to falling behind.

    “My work isn’t good enough.”

    Maybe you feel that the quality of your project is poor and that your project will not be accepted by reviewers. This is an opportunity to reach out to resources provided by the Udacity community, including mentors, fellow students, and alumni, to help you achieve mastery.  The purpose of any project is for you to learn and practice new skills.

    “I didn’t know it was plagiarism.”

    It is your responsibility to know what constitutes plagiarism, and not Udacity’s. If you find that you are in a situation where you are not sure if your work could be construed as plagiarism, ask the Udacity community for advice or seek out your mentor and look at examples noted here of what not to do.

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