Department of Biological Sciences

Biology Department Policies

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students at Western Illinois University have specific rights and responsibilities. These include such topics as grade appeals, academic integrity, and other important issues. If you are a student at WIU, you should be familiar with them. They can be read at the following website:

Grade Appeals Policy

The official grade appeals policy of Western Illinois University is that students should contact the faculty member involved no later than two weeks after the start of the next semester (the semester following the one the class being appealed was in). There are specific protocols which must be followed. If you have a grade appeal read the website below:

Final Exams

Normally every course has a final exam. It must be given during the specified five-day time period, and no non-lab tests may be given during the last Thursday and Friday of classes. However, final lab exams may be given on these days. Students do not have to take more than three exams in one day. If you have more, there are specific steps you can take to resolve this issue. Read:

Definition of Plagiarism

The faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences define plagiarism as expressed by V. E. McMillan in Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences (Bedford/St.Martin's Press, New York, pg 16)

"Plagiarism is the theft of someone else's words, work, or ideas. It includes such acts as (1) turning in a friend's paper and saying it is yours; (2) using another person's data or ideas without acknowledgement; (3) copying an author's exact words and putting them in your paper without quotation marks; and (4) using wording that is very similar to that of the original source but passing it off as entirely your own even while acknowledging the source."

This includes information in textbooks or laboratory manuals, honors and masters theses, all writing assignments, and images. The faculty of the Department attempt to monitor student writing assignments (essay exams, papers, laboratory reports, and other writing assignments or exercises) for incidence of plagiarism. If plagiarism is found, the faculty will discuss the situation with the student and indicate to the student the penalty for this academic dishonesty. Potential penalties include those cited in the academic dishonesty section of the WIU academic integrity web page:

Academic Dishonesty

Dishonest behavior is not appropriate and is not permitted at Western Illinois University. If a faculty member suspects that a student has cheated, falsified documents, copied someone else's materials without acknowledging them, or other issues, there are specific protocols that should be followed. They are described in: