University Library at St. Cloud State University

Academic Integrity

Module Checklist
  1. Read and/or watch all sections of this module.
  2. Complete the "What is Plagiarism?" and "Avoiding Plagiarism" tabs in the All About Plagiarism tutorial.
  3. Scan the stories in the Retraction Watch section in the left side bar of this page. Be prepared to discuss the ethical issues surrounding plagiarism.
What is academic integrity?
"Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Students and faculty alike must obey rules of honest scholarship, which means that all academic work should result from an individual's own efforts. Intellectual contributions from others must be consistently and responsibly acknowledged. Academic work completed in any other way is fraudulent" (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). 

"The core principles of integrity create a foundation for success in all of life's endeavors. Integrity in academic settings is a fundamental component of success and growth in the classroom. It prepares students for personal and professional challenges as well as providing a blueprint for future fulfillment and success" (International Center for Academic Integrity).

According to its Academic Integrity Policy, "St. Cloud State University (SCSU) expects each student to fulfill his/her academic obligations honestly and fairly without engaging in cheating, plagiarism, falsification, collusion, or other forms of academic dishonesty."

Useful definitions:

Plagiarize: To use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas; to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own or  use (another's production) without crediting the source ( Plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and is prohibited conduct at St. Cloud State University (see Student Code of Conduct).

Paraphrase: A restatement of a text, passage, or work  giving the meaning in another form ( When paraphrasing, you must cite the source of the original text, passage, or work -- both within your paper and on your Works Cited or bibliography page.

Quotation: Something that a person says or writes that is repeated or used by someone else in another piece of writing or a speech ( Quotations are placed in quotation marks and "must reproduce the original sources exactly" (MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.).
Retraction Watch

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All About Plagiarism tutorial
Complete the "What is Plagiarism?" and "Avoiding Plagiarism" tabs in the following tutorial:
  • Watch the videos
  • Complete the quiz questions in the boxes
  • Read through the definitions and examples
plagiarsm tutorial image
Why you need to cite sources
Me? Plagiarize? video from Hartness Library CCV/Vermont Tech
Real life examples of plagiarism
Plagiarism has real and serious consequences, even when done unintentionally.  Below are some examples of real-life cases.
  • Ohio University
    A student from Ohio University was expelled from her study abroad program after copying three phrases from Wikipedia into an essay.

  • Kaavya Viswanathan
    In 2006, Kaavya Viswanathan published a young adult book. It was later discovered that Viswanathan plagiarized heavily from books by Megan McCafferty, among others. Viswanathan claims that the plagiarism was unintentional. However, her book was recalled from stores and taken out of print and Viswanathan lost her contract for a second book.

  • Jonah Lehrer
    Jonah Lehrer recently resigned as a writer for the New Yorker after he was caught self-plagiarizing on a number of occasions and fabricating quotes for a book.

  • Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Doris Kearns Goodwin is a historian who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995. It was later discovered that Goodwin plagiarized in her 1987 book, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys. Once her plagiarism was discovered, Goodwin had to leave her position as a guest pundit on the PBS NewsHour program and resigned from the Pulitzer Board.
-- Examples from Noreen Reale Falcone Library
Student Code of Conduct Policy

Prohibited Student Conduct

From the St. Cloud State University Student Handbook -- Student Code of Conduct -- Prohibited Conduct

Any student who attempts or assists others to commit prohibited conduct as defined below may be held accountable as committing the prohibited act.

  1. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of student status, and resume, transcript or diploma falsification. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in selling or otherwise providing term papers or other academic materials; and commercialization, sale or distribution of class notes without the instructors’ permission.

For list of possible disciplinary measures, see Student Code of Conduct -- Educational Sanctions.

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