Burlington High School (Burlington, MA; outside of Boston) posted this on their English department blog. The post itself, though, is very Burlington-specific (focusing a lot on TurnItIn and BHS implications for cheating). They also post, however, a guide to plagiarism which does a nice job of ranking and describing types of plagiarism. I’ve attached it here (and it is also linked at the bottom of the page linked above).

Every year when I do the research project with my Classical Literature class, I struggle with how to approach plagiarism. Because, of course, citing too much, while not as egregious an offense, is as symptomatic of ignorance-of-plagiarism as more traditional forms and is also the most common response to any presentation of plagiarism. I don’t want my students running scared, as it were, because it makes them citation-bots, citing everything to make sure they’ve cited what they need to cite, but the issue of plagiarism is a nuanced one and one that is made more difficult in a situation where students know little to nothing (because everything to them seems new / someone else’s idea) and have few(er than they will in college) resources.

This document at least provides a comprehensive starting point for discussing the nuances of plagiarism and students’ responsibilities to their sources when writing.