Academic Integrity

You may encounter plagiarism or other academic dishonesty when assessing student work. There are a number of steps you can take to prevent or respond to such situations.

  1. Your syllabus should include the College’s Academic Integrity Policy so that students are aware of the policy and its consequences.
  2. Take some time in the first few classes or before the first assignment is due to identify those behaviors that violate the policy. You may wish to either refer students to the PreStep module linked below or review these ideas with them as part of class lecture. The PSC Library’s EMPOWER Tutorial (link is below) can be used as an additional resource.
  3. Review the steps for using SafeAssign through Blackboard to check for plagiarism.
  4. If you encounter a case of alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, notify the student of your concern. Sample emails for doing so can be found below. Be sure to inform your Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the outcome or if you wish to talk through the situation.

For Further Reading

  • Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices (Council of Writing Program Administrators)
    “This statement responds to the growing educational concerns about plagiarism in four ways: by defining plagiarism; by suggesting some of the causes of plagiarism; by proposing a set of respon­sibilities (for students, teachers, and administrators) to address the problem of plagiarism; and by recommending a set of practices for teaching and learning that can significantly reduce the likeli­hood of plagiarism. The statement is intended to provide helpful suggestions and clarifications so that instructors, administrators, and students can work together more effectively in support of excellence in teaching and learning.”
  • Cheating in a High Tech World (Chronicle of Higher Education)
    This 36-page collection of articles prepares educators for new challenges in stemming a tide of deception that could undermine the value of college degrees.
  • Plagiarism Prevention without Fear (Jaschik, 2010)
    “The study found that a relatively short Web tutorial about academic integrity and plagiarism can have a significant impact on whether students plagiarize, with the greatest gains (for integrity) coming among student groups that are statistically more likely to plagiarize — which are those with lesser academic credentials.”
  • Plagiarism: An Administrator’s Perspective (Highberg, 2011)
    “I thought it might be useful to add some thoughts from my work as an administrator who has had to deal with a lot of plagiarism cases from across the university.  I certainly am not saying my thoughts will end plagiarism, but they might help reduce it in some cases.  And, in the comments, I hope you all will add even more thoughts to this list.”

Policies and Resources

Student Resources