Topic 5: Graduate Research and Writing
Multiple programs and services are available to help you adjust to the rigors of graduate level writing and research. We encourage you to review the information below designed help you to make a smooth transition:
- A one-semester professional writing course is offered by the Schar School which can be taken by you as an elective toward your program. All Schar School master’s students are eligible to take this course. Please note that some Schar School students will be required to take this course as one of their electives based on the assessment of their gateway course instructor:
PUBP 570 Fundamentals of Policy Writing (3 credits) Professional Writing teaches effective writing for the professions. The course includes the fundamentals of writing — grammar, word usage and paragraphing – and instruction in selected genres, including news stories, editorials, and research writing.
- Tips on everything from grammar to drafting an effective argument can be found on the resources link of the Writing Center website.
- The Writing Center provides individual tutoring, free of charge, to the Schar School students on the Arlington and Fairfax campuses. The Writing Center also offers the Online Writing Lab (OWL), an email-based tutoring service. Information about the services offered and appointments can be found at: http://writingcenter.gmu.edu/
- Mason Writing Center Plagiarism Resource List:
The Honor Code and the Schar School
The profession of scholarship and the intellectual life of a university, as well as the field of public policy inquiry, depend fundamentally on a foundation of trust. Thus, any act of plagiarism strikes at the heart of the meaning of the University and the purpose of the Schar School of Policy and Government. It constitutes a serious breach of professional ethics and it is unacceptable.
Plagiarism is the use of another’s words or ideas presented as one’s own. It includes, among other things, the use of specific words, ideas, or frameworks that are the product of another’s work. Honesty and thoroughness in citing sources is essential to professional accountability and personal responsibility. Appropriate citation is necessary so that arguments, evidence, and claims can be critically examined.
Plagiarism is wrong because of the injustice it does to the person whose ideas are stolen. But it is also wrong because it constitutes lying to one’s professional colleagues. From a prudential perspective, it is shortsighted and self-defeating, and it can ruin a professional career.
The faculty of the School takes plagiarism seriously and has adopted a zero tolerance policy. Any plagiarized assignment will receive an automatic grade of “F.” This may lead to failure for the course, resulting in termination from the program and possible dismissal from the University. This dismissal will be noted on the student’s transcript. For foreign students who are on a university-sponsored visa (e.g. F-1, J-1 or J-2), dismissal also results in the revocation of their visa.
To help enforce the Schar School policy on plagiarism, all written work submitted in partial fulfillment of course or degree requirements must be available in electronic form so that it can be compared with electronic databases, as well as submitted to commercial services to which the School subscribes. Faculty may at any time submit a student’s work without prior permission from the student. Individual instructors may require that written work be submitted in electronic as well as printed form. The Schar School policy on plagiarism is supplementary to the George Mason University Honor Code; it is not intended to replace it or substitute for it.
Please be sure to review the Mason Honor Code in its entirety at: http://oai.gmu.edu/the-mason-honor-code/
Library Tools and Tutorials
- “How Do I/Where do I go for . . .” help page is the perfect place to start if you’re not sure where to go: http://library.gmu.edu/ask
- Online tutorials on topics ranging from how to start your research to searching a library database and interlibrary loan are available at: http://library.gmu.edu/tutorials
- The George Mason University Libraries offer a variety of workshops for students including workshops on bibliographic management software and basic and advanced research. Students are eligible to register for the workshops as soon as they have an active Mason email account: http://library.gmu.edu/workshops
- The Infoguides below, created by the policy librarian, provide scholarly resources for study and research in your program.