Plagiarism occurs when someone presents another person's work or ideas as one's own. This is a serious transgression. You must do on your own every assignment that you hand in, and your solutions cannot contain anyone else's uncredited ideas. For group assignments, this means that the work must be done only by the members of the group. Please refer to the University of Ottawa's Policy on Academic Fraud for a detailed description of plagiarism and applicable sanctions.
It is natural and perfectly acceptable to discuss assignments with friends and classmates. You can discuss and compare general approaches and ways of getting around particular difficulties, but you should not leave such a discussion with any written material. Discussions are meant to help you think, not to give you ready answers. Do not look at other students' solutions on paper or on the computer screen, even in draft form. You yourself must code your programs, analyze results, write reports and answer assignment questions. Group work is only allowed if it is a group assignment; in such a case all team members are equally responsible for the solution.
If you have used another resource to solve the assignment (textbooks, Web pages, and so on), make a proper reference to that resource. If you have talked with anyone about an assignment, please write so in your assignment and state the extent of your discussion.
Note that it is also a serious offense to help someone else plagiarize. Do not lend your assignment answers, electronic files, printouts, or reports, and do not let others copy or read them. To protect yourself against people who may copy your work without your knowledge, retain all of your old files, printouts, and draft notes until the assignment has been graded and returned to you. If you suspect that someone has stolen a printout or file, contact your instructor immediately.
Although you must solve your assignments unaided, there are still many ways in which students can help each other. For instance, you can go over difficult lecture or lab material, work through exercises, or help each other understand an assignment handout. This sort of course collaboration occurs often in study groups.
If in doubt about whether a question you are asking or answering is against these guidelines, ask your TA (teaching assistant) the question instead.
Teaching assistants have been instructed to report to the professor any suspicion of plagiarism they find when they mark assignments.
If plagiarism has been detected in any part or in the whole assignment, the professor will take appropriate measures. Recall that it is equally bad to copy a solution and to let someone else copy a solution.