Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Cornell University (2005) states, at 60 percent of all their academic integrity violations, plagiarism is the most common problem they experience.

Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty as it uses and presents the intellectual work effort performed by another yet, it is presented as the work of one’s own doing (Cornell University, 2005; Trident University International, 2011). Although a traditional sense would lead one to believe plagiarism exists only when someone copies word for word an encyclopedia article for a school assignment, the depth of plagiarism is much deeper when considering the inclusions which seem to be better defined within a university setting. Not only are writings, conversations, words and ideas included as copied works falling under the plagiarized domain but, any form of media are, as well (University of Southern Mississippi, n.d.). Trident University International (2011) also includes for clarification; the engagement of contract cheating, copy and pasting, direct duplication, paraphrasing, and submitting one’s prior work.

Texas A&M University (n.d.) clarifies part of the reasoning for academic integrity by addressing the issues surrounding individual reputation, personal integrity, professional competence, and the status or standing of the institution.

Plagiarism charges can be levied by anyone, inclusive of professors, administrators, students, or co-workers (Trident International University, 2011). Trident further states that in addition to the plagiarist, the assistance or attempt thereof, even if not a benefit to the facilitator is a violation of the university academic policy. The Aggie Honor System (n.d.) has a simple but very profound and in depth code of which adherence is practiced, “An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do”.

Cornell University (2005) cites penalties of plagiarism to include grade penalty, failure of the course, and suspension or expulsion from the university. Trident University International (2011) in addition to Cornell penalties adds “imposition of appropriate education and academic sanctions”. Trident further notes that plagiarism may also attract civil and criminal penalties if the actions are in violation of U.S. copyright law.

The avoidance of plagiarism can be summed; 1) use your own words when referring to ideas or concepts of others, and 2) give due credit to the rightful author and source (Trident University International, 2011). The University of Southern Mississippi (n.d.) among others promotes the use of in-text citations to credit the words or ideas of others within the document and providing a reference listing of all of the work which is cited. Several referencing styles are available for properly quoting, citing, and listing the sources of information. The choices; whether APA, MLA, Chicago or others depend, on the department and the university.

University of Southern Mississippi (n.d.) refers to Harris (2001) in developing a pre and post test concerning plagiarism which helps one to understand what may and what may not be plagiarism.


Cornell University (2005). Recognizing and avoiding plagiarism, Retrieved from
Harris, R.A. (2001). The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

Aggie Honor System Office (n.d.). 20.1.2 Honor System Rules, Texas A&M University, Retrieved from

Texas A&M University (n.d.). Academic integrity and plagiarism. Retrieved from

Trident University International (n.d.). Student guide to writing a high-quality academic paper [PDF]. Retrieved from

Trident University International (2011). Academic integrity policy. In Fall 2011 University Catalog [PDF]. Retrieved from

University of Southern Mississippi (n.d.). Welcome to plagiarism tutorial. Retrieved from

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