Academic integrity includes much more than just avoiding plagiarism and cheating. It encompasses the entire process of completing an assignment or paper—from selecting credible sources to including your own original and academic voice to using tutoring responsibly.

The UAGC Catalog details academic integrity expectations and the consequences of not meeting expectations.

To understand the full scope of academic integrity and continually develop a lifestyle of academic integrity, follow these steps:

  1. Perform Academic Research—Not a Google Search

    The purpose of academic research is not to get the “right” answer, but rather to explore different perspectives and learn about a topic. Instead of Googling an assignment prompt, use the UAGC Library to research the topics within the assignment prompt. And if you need background information on a topic, a great place to start is an encyclopedia, which you can access from the Encyclopedias & Dictionaries button on the library homepage. Academic integrity requires that you perform academic research (not Google) in order to explore and learn about a topic, and then share what you’ve learned.

    Useful Guide(s):

    • Potential Pitfalls of Searching Google- This guide shares how searching Google can lead to unreliable sources and potential for cheating. You'll learn what to use instead of Google.
    • How Do I Begin?- This tutorial guides you in making sense of your assignment prompt and provides tips to kick start your research.

  2. Select Credible Sources

    The sources and evidence you select to use for academic assignments should be of a higher caliber than what you use in your daily life and need to be verifiable, accurate, objective, and authoritative. Academic integrity requires selecting and using sources from highly credible authors with highly credible evidence.

    Useful Guide(s):

    • Advanced Search Techniques - This guide provides effective search techniques when using the library databases.
    • Advanced Internet Search Techniques - This guide can help you have better control of your Google search results and locate credible websites.
    • Hierarchy of Sources - This guide can help you when examining the level of credibility for a source.
    • C.R.A.A.P. - This guide can help you evaluate the credibility of web resources.
    • Evaluating Sources – This interactive tutorial provides an overview of different source types and which types are appropriate for academic research. This resource also includes links to keyword and database search tip tutorials and contains tips for reading a scholarly article.
  3. Use Credible & Relevant Evidence

    You’ve found a credible source, and now you need to select relevant, timely, and appropriate evidence from that source. Academic integrity requires rigorous evaluation of the evidence you use.

    Using evidence or information that does not directly support your claims, is no longer valid or in use, or presents your reader with biased or inaccurate information takes you off the path of academic integrity.

    Useful Guide(s):

  4. Integrate & Cite Evidence/Sources

    Evidence from sources needs to be integrating into your paper and appropriately cited. Academic integrity involves attributing the credit of any theories, ideas, or words to those who contributed to the conversation/topic before you, while using their work as a foundation to build upon.

    Useful Guide(s):

    • Quoting, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing- This guide provides an overview of when and how to include the ideas or research of others into your writing.
    • Academic Body Paragraphs- This guide shows how to develop your body paragraphs so your evidence is included within the paragraph.
    • Synthesis- This guide provides information on how to combine ideas from multiple sources into your writing.
    • Citing Within your Paper-This guide details when, where, and how to cite the information you use from sources.
  5. Provide Original Academic Thought & Voice

    Including the ideas and research of others is needed for academic writing, but it is not enough to only present what others have said. Academic integrity includes presenting the information from others while also providing your own original and academic thoughts and voice to the conversation.

    Useful Guide(s):

    • Integrating Research- This guide shows where and how to include evidence, while still providing your original content. This guide can help you to lower your Turnitin score!
    • Academic Voice- This resource helps you to write in an academic tone and to appropriately contribute to an academic conversation on a topic (through writing).
  6. Avoid All Forms of Plagiarism

    Direct cheating is an obvious departure from academic integrity, but plagiarism can take many forms and does not always accompany an intent to cheat. Academic integrity requires taking careful steps to avoid all forms of plagiarism—intentional or unintentional.

    Useful Guide(s):

    • Academic Integrity Violations- The UAGC Catalog details various types of plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity to avoid.
    • Plagiarism Guide- This guide summarizes what plagiarism is and some ways to avoid plagiarism.
    • Steps to Avoiding Plagiarism- This resource take you through a step-by-step process to avoiding plagiarism and provides some fun interactives too.
    • Understanding Turnitin Reports- This guide provides an overview of Turnitin’s similarity report and how to interpret that report to establish if plagiarism is occurring.
  7. Use Tutoring Responsibly

    Working with a tutor can help you to increase your knowledge, but it must be done responsibly to maintain your academic integrity. You must produce your own work at all stages and independently meet the expectations of the course. Also, be sure you are working with a UAGC-approved tutor through Canvas. Some tutoring sites market themselves as tutoring but are actually exploiting student work.

    Useful Guide(s):

  8. Maintain Personal Responsibility and Continual Improvement

    Personal responsibility is the view that you are ultimately responsible for your academic choices and the consequences of those choices.

    • Be aware of academic integrity expectations.
    • Understand how to choose credible and reliable sources.
    • Never rely on others to ensure you have cited appropriately.
    • Know that unintentional plagiarism is still plagiarism.
    • Use tutoring responsibly, use responsible tutoring sites (UAGC-provided), and never allow your tutor to edit or produce any of your assignment for you or with you.
    • Independently produce your own work for assignments and do not share your work with others.

    Continual improvement is the view that as a student, you are continually learning how to meet academic integrity expectations and striving to exceed them.

    • Ask if you are unsure. Use Turnitin.
    • Use the resources provided here to help you meet expectations.
    • Evaluate sources carefully for credibility.
    • Include your own analysis and academic voice/stance to all academic work.
    • Check your academic work, looking for potential issues with academic integrity.
    • Become an independent and life-long learner.