Academic Integrity

In writing from source materials, integrity is the standard. Integrity and documentation are interrelated. Without standards for academic honesty, documenting sources has little meaning.

You should be aware of UMUC’s policies concerning academic integrity and academic dishonesty, which are stated on the university’s website. These policies are of special interest to writers because they describe the act of plagiarism as an act of academic dishonesty that frequently occurs in writing. To avoid plagiarism, you should understand it thoroughly and take steps to guard against it as you conduct research and write papers and other assignments. Policy 150.25, Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism, states:

Academic dishonesty is the failure to maintain academic integrity. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to plagiarism; cheating; fabrication; offering bribery for grades, transcripts, or diplomas; obtaining or giving aid on an examination; presenting another’s work as one’s own or doing work for another student; having unauthorized prior knowledge of an examination; and using a proxy during an examination.

Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of another person’s idea or product as one’s own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following: copying verbatim all or part of another’s written work; using phrases, charts, figures, illustrations, or mathematical or scientific solutions without citing the source; paraphrasing ideas, conclusions or research without citing the source in the text and in reference lists; or using all or part of a literary plot, poem, film, musical score or other artistic product without attributing the work to its creator.

Students can avoid unintentional plagiarism by carefully following accepted scholarly practices. Notes taken for papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be cited, appropriately quoted, paraphrased or summarized, and papers and research projects should acknowledge those sources in the appropriate places in the text of the paper as well as in a reference list at the end of the paper, in accordance with accepted citation practices.

In general, you should:

  • acknowledge the source of all evidence, from rumors to formal documents; also acknowledge all outside help, whether from a person or an electronic source (such as a website, an e-mail communication, or a listserv), and any other sources

  • consider everything in print or electronic format as protected by copyright

  • document all written, filmed, videotaped, audiotaped, and electronic sources of information

  • use the documentation style appropriate for your discipline

Academic integrity requires the accurate citation of material generated by other people.


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