Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

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Common Misconceptions

As a student, you probably often hear a lot of things about what is considered academic integrity and what is not. The following are some examples of common misconceptions that many people have about that are not true. Read on to learn what is considered appropriate alternatives to these myths about AI:

stick person scratching its head1.   If I paraphrase or slightly alter the wording from a source, I do not have to give credit.
This is not true because if you take anyone's ideas and use it as your own argument or to support your argument, you must give appropriate credit. If you are unsure of how, click here or ask your instructor to get help. 

2.   As long as I provide a citation when I copy something, that is not plagiarizing.
Providing a citation is a good start, but you must add quotation marks if you are copying someone's idea, word for word.

3.   I am allowed to re-submit previous assignments since I own them.
Although this may seem logical, it is prohibited and is known to be an act of "self-plagiarism". If you truly feel that your previous work is related, talk to your instructor to see if s/he will allow you to re-submit it or revise it for an alternate submission.

4.   My instructor did not ask for my sources, so I don?t need to include any.
Just because your instructor did not ask for them, it is not a legitimate excuse to not give proper credit. You may still be found charged of plagiarism if you don't. Further, it is good practice to include your sources to acknowledge where your ideas come from.

5.   It's okay if I forgot or didn't know that I was plagiarizing/ breaching other aspects of academic integrity.
It is your responsibility to understand what conduct is not permitted at the University. "Not knowing" is not an excuse, so you should familiarize yourself with the forms of academic dishonesty and school policies, or ask your instructor if you are still unclear.

6.   Sharing information with friends on an assignment is alright.
There is a distinction between inappropriate collaboration and group work.

 If the work is meant to be independent, you are breaching academic integrity by discussing answers with others. If your instructor does not mention, it is your responsibility to find out, rather than assume that it is collaborative group work.

7.   Submitting papers that I buy online is not plagiarizing - if not, I wouldn't be able to buy them in the first place.
This is definitely not true. The act of you purchasing a paper not written by yourself to submit is plagiarism. You should always submit work that you do on your own.

8.   I'm at a disadvantage if everyone cheats except for me.
If others are earning their marks and even degrees by cheating their way through, it won't be long before they get caught. Further, they will not develop the necessary skills for the workplace. Holding yourself to high academic integrity in learning will pay off in the future and make you proud of a degree that you worked hard to get.