Academic Honesty

Bread Loaf follows the Middlebury College policy on academic honesty. As an academic community devoted to the life of the mind, Middlebury College requires of every student complete intellectual honesty in the preparation of all assigned academic work.


Plagiarism is a violation of intellectual honesty. Plagiarism is passing off another person's work as one's own. It is taking and presenting as one's own the ideas, research, writings, creations, or inventions of another. It makes no difference whether the source is a student or a professional in some field. For example, in written work, whenever as much as a sentence or key phrase is taken from the work of another without specific citation of the source, the issue of plagiarism arises.

Paraphrasing is the close restatement of another's idea using approximately the language of the original. Paraphrasing without acknowledgment of authorship is also plagiarism and is as serious a violation as an unacknowledged quotation.

Graded assignments should be the work of the individual student, unless otherwise directed by the instructor.

The individual student is responsible for ensuring that his or her work does not involve plagiarism. Ignorance of the nature of plagiarism or of College rules may not be offered as a mitigating circumstance. Students with uncertainties and questions on matters relating to footnoting, citation of sources, paraphrasing lecture notes, and proper recognition of collaborative work on homework assignments and laboratory reports should consult with the course instructor for whom they are preparing work.


Cheating is defined as giving or attempting to give or receive during an examination any aid unauthorized by the instructor. 

Duplicate Use of Written Work

A paper submitted to meet the requirements of a particular course is assumed to be work completed for that course; the same paper, or substantially similar papers, may not be used to meet the requirements of two different courses, in the same or different terms, without the prior consent of each faculty member involved. Students incorporating similar material in more than one paper are required to confirm each professor's expectations in advance. Violations of this policy will be handled in the same way as other policy violations.

Instructors are strongly encouraged to discuss or include on their syllabus the College's policies governing academic honesty as they relate to a particular course.

In cases where violations of either policy is suspected:

  • Faculty should report the violation, with supporting evidence to the director or, if she or he is not available, designee (associate director, on-site director), detailing the correlation between the student’s work and all unacknowledged sources.
  • The director or designee will review the pertinent information and, when appropriate, notify the student of the allegations and give him or her an opportunity to respond to them.
  • The director or designee will make a determination based on the preponderance of the evidence standard as to whether the student has violated policy. During this process, the rules of evidence applicable to civil or criminal cases do not apply.
  • In cases where plagiarism is judged to be present, the student will receive an F on the work involved and will be put on permanent academic probation; he or she may also be dismissed from the program. These actions will be accompanied by notification of any other institution in which the student is enrolled.
  • The student may appeal the decision to the vice president for the Middlebury Language Schools, Schools Abroad, and Graduate Programs within three business days of the determination. The appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds, and not simply on disagreement with the decision:

- new information not previously available (deliberate omission by the student of information will not support an appeal);
- violation of stated procedures when the violation prevented fundamental fairness. A determination that a material procedural error has occurred may result in a rehearing of the case using correct procedures, but a procedural error is not a factor in reducing a sanction when the appeal upholds a finding of guilt. Immaterial procedural errors will not be grounds for a rehearing;
- significant mitigating circumstances.

The appeal must be in writing (e-mail or hard copy), and must state the grounds for the appeal as well as an outline of supporting evidence. The student will be notified of the appeal decision within five business days of the receipt of the appeal, unless there are extenuating circumstances. The vice president’s decision shall be final.