Proficiency in English

Students are reminded that University policy requires proficiency in English to be taken into account in the assignment of grades in all courses (see Academic Calendar).

Scholastic Offenses and Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of cheating. It is viewed as a very serious scholastic offense by the University and is treated as such. Penalties for plagiarism range from a failing grade for the assignment or the course to suspension or even expulsion from the University (see 2016 Calendar). As well, it also automatically leads to the establishment of a scholastic offense record in the Dean’s Office of the student’s home faculty.

What is a scholastic offense?

Western University and the Department of Philosophy treat a number of other practices as academic offenses. These include but are not limited to:

  • Recycling: Submitting for credit any academic work for which credit previously has been obtained or is being sought in another course or program of study in the University or elsewhere without the knowledge and written approval of the instructor to whom it is/was originally submitted.
  • Cheating on an examination or falsifying material subject to academic evaluation.
  • Aiding or abetting any such offense.

Further information about the range of scholastic offenses can be found in the most recent Western University Academic Calendar.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is unacknowledged copying or paraphrasing of the words or ideas of another person intentionally or otherwise. In general, anyone who learns something from a source (other than course lectures or general background knowledge any student of the course could reasonably be expected to have) and then presents that knowledge as their own discovery is considered to have plagiarized, even if the words used to express the ideas are not exactly the same. Other examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

  • Misrepresenting co-authored or group work as individually done
  • Cutting and pasting copied or paraphrased work by others in with your own work
  • Paraphrasing or altering the order of words or phrases and/or substituting words or phrases of similar meaning without acknowledging that you are doing so

In your written work, you should take care to make adequate reference to the sources of the ideas and words you borrow, either in your footnotes, endnotes, or in the body of your text. Your instructor will be happy to show you a proper method of documenting your sources.

Plagiarism Checking

The Department of Philosophy has adopted a policy requiring that all written assignments for undergraduate courses be submitted electronically to Turnitin.com. Turnitin.com is a service designed to help students protect the copyright in their work and professors to identify plagiarism. Instructors will receive a report from the website determining each paper’s "originality content." The Department will assign penalties when plagiarism is discovered, or when there is a significant discrepancy between the electronic version and the hard copy. Students in upper year courses may also be required to submit their written work to Turnitin.com for plagiarism checking.

Departmental Information

Please consult the Undergraduate bulletin boards, beside Stevenson Hall Room 3148 for the departmental directory, course listings, examination schedules, important dates for the 2016-17 academic year, and miscellaneous items of interest to undergraduate students. Also, consult the Department of Philosophy website frequently for updates and revisions as well as schedules and course outlines.

Contacting Instructors

Instructors and tutorial leaders make their own appointments. Information about how to contact your instructor can be found on your course outline. Students wanting to contact their instructors or tutorial leaders at other times may leave a note in the drop-off box.

Course Work Submission & Essay Drop-box

Students should submit course work directly to their instructor or tutorial leader during class or office hours. If you are unable to submit an assignment during class or office hours, there is an assignment drop-box available. The drop-box is located on the first floor of Stevenson Hall by the elevators. The drop box is emptied at 3:45 pm. Assignments will be date stamped only, not time stamped. Assignments will not be accepted by staff members, as well essays sent by fax or e-mail cannot be accepted. All work submitted must clearly state:
  • Student's ID number
  • Course number
  • Instructor or tutorial leader's name
  • Date

Academic Accommodation

Students seeking academic accommodation on medical grounds for any missed tests, exams, participation components and/or assignments worth 10% or more of their final grade must apply to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty and provide documentation. Academic accommodation cannot be granted by the instructor or department. Documentation shall be submitted, as soon as possible, to the Office of the Dean of the student’s Faculty of registration, together with a request for relief specifying the nature of the accommodation being requested. Academic Policies on examinations, appeals, absences due to illness, etc. may be found in the Western Academic Calendar - Academic Rights and Responsibilities. For further information contact the Philosophy Undergraduate Chair Professor Devin Henry, 519 661-2111 x85876 or dhenry3@uwo.ca, your Faculty’s Academic Counselor, or the Ombudsperson.


Students who miss classes or parts of classes are responsible for the material they have missed. Instructors are not obliged to review the contents of lectures, repeat announcements or retain notes, handouts or overheads. Any student who, in the opinion of the instructor, is absent too frequently from class or tutorials may be reported to the Dean and, with the recommendation of the Department concerned, and the permission of the Dean, debarred from taking the final examination in the course. See Western Academic Calendar - Examination Attendance for more information.

Final Deadline for All Outstanding Assignments

All course work (with the exception of final examinations) must be submitted by the last day of classes. Students seeking the return of course work after the last meeting of the term should make arrangements with their instructor prior to the end of the term. Exceptions to these work submission dates may be granted only as a result of a petition to the Academic Counsellor of the student’s faculty. Instructors have no authority to waive this requirement, and any unofficial arrangements they make with students will not be respected by the administration. This does not preclude instructors from setting earlier deadlines for course work.

Respectful Environment

The Department of Philosophy’s Committee on Women’s Concerns was formed to promote and ensure a non-sexist environment for all who work and study in the department. Students are encouraged to consult and implement the departmental guidelines for the non-sexist use of language. Read more here.


Final marks for courses can be obtained from your Student Center. Instructors are not permitted to release final grades (individually or in lists) either on their doors, department boards, or electronically. Consult your master timetable for information on how to do this. At least one week prior to the deadline for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty, students will receive an assessment of work accounting for at least 15% of their final grade. For 3000- or 4000-level courses in which such a graded assessment is impracticable, the instructor(s) must obtain an exemption from this policy from the Dean and this exemption must be noted on the corresponding course syllabus. See Evaluation of Academic Performance for more information.