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Academic Integrity & Plagiarism Tutorial: Academic Integrity

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What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity is a fundamental principle governing how work is done in the academic community. The concept of academic integrity can be thought of from two different perspectives:

  1. As a personal value or ethical standard that all students must cultivate and uphold
  2. As a set of behaviors that all students must practice in the course of completing assignments and examinations

As a personal value, academic integrity involves doing work in an honest, ethical, and honorable way, and not attempting to misrepresent oneself or one's work in others. Saint Anselm College expects its students to develop and exemplify this value throughout their four years of study. Academic integrity is everyone's responsibility--students need to be honorable about the work they produce, while faculty need to be honest and transparent with their assignments and grading. When all students and faculty exhibit academic integrity, it fosters a climate of mutual trust and respect among them. Failing to maintain academic integrity causes harm to the community in several ways:

  • The student's learning experience is diminished
  • Other students or scholars fail to receive credit for their own words or ideas
  • Faculty's trust in student honesty is compromised
  • When a classmate's dishonest work receives a good grade, students who work hard and follow the rules feel like their efforts are devalued
  • If the violation goes unpunished, other students may consider cheating the next time

As a set of behaviors, academic integrity can be demonstrated by adhering to a few simple rules when producing papers or presentations. Charles Lipson outlines three principles that all students should follow:

  • "When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it.
  • when you rely on someone else's work, you cite it. When you use their words, you quote them openly and accurately, and you cite them, too.
  • When you present research materials, you present them fairly and truthfully. That's true whether the research involves data, documents, or other writings of other scholars." (Lipson 3)

Works Cited
Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Print.

Forms of Academic Dishonesty

The most obvious violation of academic integrity involves plagiarizing the work of others, whether they are students, scholars, or anonymous authors on the Internet. Plagiarism will be discussed at length in this tutorial. But academic dishonesty comes in a variety of other forms, including the following:

  • Cheating off another student's exam or assignment, or using a "cheat sheet" during exams
  • Collaborating with other students on an assignment, when the instructor has not authorized it
  • Falsifying data for lab reports
  • Misrepresenting the findings of a survey or experiment
  • Providing another student with an assignment, exam, or paper that he/she represents as his/her own work

Academic Integrity at Saint Anselm College

Many colleges and universities frame this issue in terms of "academic dishonesty." From that point of view, the institution focuses on the acts and behaviors that may result in disciplinary action by the administration.

Saint Anselm College's policy on academic honesty does lay out examples of academic misconduct. However, rather than dwelling on what students shouldn't do, the college wants to encourage them to learn skills (such as effective note taking and paraphrasing) that will help them complete their work with integrity. To this end, all freshman students receive instruction on how and when to quote, paraphrase, and document sources during their English classes. This outline tutorial will also provide many tips and strategies for avoiding plagiarism, a crime that many students commit by accident due to not understanding the rules.

Below is Saint Anselm College's statement on academic honesty. Read it carefully, since you will be required to comply with it throughout your four years at the college.

Since assignments, papers, computer programs, tests and discussions of college coursework are the core of the educational process, the College demands the strictest honesty of students in their various academic tasks. To ensure that the standards of honesty essential to meaningful accomplishment in the classroom are maintained, the College sets forth the following clarification of academic dishonesty and sanctioning procedures.

The following actions are examples of academic dishonesty and subject to sanctions:

Examinations and Assignments

  1. Copying from another student's examination paper or allowing another to copy from one's own paper during an examination.
  2. Using unpermitted material (notes, texts, calculators, etc.) during an examination.
  3. Revising, without the instructor's knowledge, and resubmitting a quiz or examination for grading.
  4. Giving or receiving unpermitted aid on a take-home examination or on any academic assignment.


  1. Plagiarism means the presentation by a student of the work of another person as his or her own. It includes wholly or partially copying, translating, or paraphrasing without acknowledgement of the source.
  2. Since the wording of a student's paper or computer program is taken as his or her own work, paragraphs, sentences, or even key phrases clearly copies from a book, article, essay, lecture, newspaper, program, another student's paper, notebook or program, or any other source, may be included only if presented as quotations and the source acknowledged.
  3. Similarly, since the ideas expressed in a paper, report, or computer program are accepted as originating from the student, a paper or program that paraphrases ideas taken from a book, article, essay, lecture, newspaper, program, another student's paper, notebook, or program, or any other source may not be submitted unless each paraphrased source is properly cited. A student may incorporate in his or her paper, report, or program, without citation, ideas from texts, discussions, lectures or other programs only, when over time, a true synthesis of those ideas has made them his or her own.
  4. A student may make use of the particular skills of a proofreader or typist, but wholesale corrections and revisions of a course paper or computer program by these individuals are not allowable. The student alone is responsible for any errors or omissions in material submitted as his or her own work.
  5. No paper or computer program may be submitted for credit if it has been or is being used to fulfill the requirements of another course, in whatever department, unless permission to coordinate work has been granted by both professors.
  6. No student shall allow his or her paper or program in outline or finished form to be copied and submitted as the work of another; nor shall a student prepare a written assignment or program for anther student to submit as that student's work.
  7. Students should be prepared up to one month beyond the due date of a paper or program to submit all notes, drafts, and source information which might be requested by an instructor, chairperson, or committee investigating the authenticity on that work. The failure to produce such material upon request may be considered prima facie evidence of plagiarism.