Academic Integrity, Plagiarism and Cheating

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity is approaching your studies at Cleary University in a responsible and honest manner. Once lost or tainted, your record of academic integrity your academic reputation is difficult to rehabilitate. All academic work and the grades should be the result of your individual effort in mastering a specific content area. Your work should involve original thought and evidence of critical thinking: synthesizing and interpreting information, creative problem solving, distinguishing between fact and fiction. Additionally, any written submissions must include permissions (where appropriate) and proper citing.

What is Cheating?

Cheating is misconduct that involves the unauthorized use of resources, materials or other assistance in order to complete an assignment or test.

What is Plagiarism?

One form of cheating is plagiarism. Plagiarism is stating or implying that another person's work is yours. You commit plagiarism if you:
  • Submit a paper to be graded that you have not written.
  • Copy answers or text from another classmate and submit it as your own.
  • Quote or paraphrase from another paper without crediting the original author.
  • Cite data without crediting the original source.
  • Propose another author's idea as if it were your own.
  • Fabricate references or intentionally use incorrect references.
  • Submit someone else's presentation, program, spreadsheet, or other file with only minor alterations.
These are only a few examples. Any action that implies (intentionally or unintentionally) that the work of someone else is yours can constitute plagiarism. Read the OWL Avoiding Plagiarism Web site for an explanation on difference between using other people's research and plagiarism.

Specific Examples of Plagiarism

  • Wholesale copying ~ obtaining a complete paper from another source
  • Cutting and pasting ~ copying large chunks of text from one or more original sources and inserting it into the assignment
  • Inappropriate paraphrasing ~ quoted text is altered slightly from the original and no acknowledgment of the original author is given

Why Is Citing Important?

  1. To strengthen your position. Otherwise, what you say is simply your opinion. Providing sources allows the reader to understand and evaluate your assertions. It's important to cite only sources that you have critically evaluated. Information on evaluation websites can be found on the Cleary University's Library website.
  2. To give credit to others for their ideas. Taking credit for someone else's ideas is considered a violation of academic integrity, subject to severe penalties.
  3. To provide evidence of research and critical thinking .
  4. To direct the reader back to the source material. Researchers often use reference lists to gather additional information on a topic.

What Should Be Cited?

You should cite a source anytime you incorporate an idea, quote (written or spoken), data, image or other content that is not yours unless it is common knowledge.
  • Facts (specific bits of information, statistics) produced by a specific person or organization. You do not need to cite the date of an event or other facts that are considered common knowledge, but you should cite facts, data, statistics, and percentages.
  • Ideas and words of others. Using someone's ideas or words without acknowledgment is plagiarism.
  • Graphs or numbers taken from another source or if you CREATE a graph from numbers/data you found from another source. If someone, like a professor or business colleague, provides you with data or information in person or via email, you cite that as a "personal communication" in the body of your paper but you do not provide a corresponding entry in your reference list.

APA Citation Requirements

  • Only material cited in the body of your essay is included in your reference list.
  • Your parenthetical citation or signal phrase (Jones, 2006) must lead the reader to the corresponding reference in your list.
  • Personal correspondence or email is not verifiable and therefore does not appear in your reference list. You should mention the source in your essay.
  • The purpose of your reference list is to lead the reader back to the source material you are citing. Requirements differ for citing a proprietary (fee-based or subscription database like Proquest or CountryWatch) than for citing freely accessible web pages. Check with the Cleary librarian if you are in doubt.


(This section primarily taken from Saupe, 1998)

Cases involving violations of this policy are “confidential.” No discussions will take place other than those needed to determine guilt or appropriate sanction, and all records under the University’'s control are destroyed if the student is exonerated. There is no “statute of limitations” that precludes faculty or staff from acting on the discovery of alleged violations either during the term or subsequently, including after the student has graduated.
  1. An instructor who finds proof of plagiarism will first discuss with the student the nature of the case, including its moral implications and its academic ramifications, and seek input from the student as to the circumstances. Faculty is encouraged to consult their Department Chair (“Academic Disciplinary Actions,” 2000). Plagiarism normally results in a failing grade for the plagiarized work. The instructor also has the right to fail the student in the course. He or she may end the matter with his or her own action, if it is a non-flagrant or unintentional occurrence, or pass the case on to the Chair.
  2. The Chair will report flagrant violations to the review committee (Academic Faculty Committee) with any recommendations for suspension or expulsion.
  3. Students have the right to present their cases to the review committee before it deliberates. The decision of the review committee is final. If the faculty member involved is a member of the review committee, s/he does not participate while the appeal is being considered.

Practice Exercises

Additional Resources


Cheating and plagiarism are not acceptable. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism does not excuse the act. Take the time to familiarize yourself with Cleary's plagiarism policy and when in doubt, cite. Plagiarism is a serious offense with serious consequences -- from failure in the course to expulsion. One case of plagiarism can jeopardize all of your coursework (past, present, future).

Obtain permission before you cite any information from proprietary materials (e.g., employee manuals, policy statements, organizational charts) at your workplace.. Failure to obtain permission could conceivably jeopardize your employment and/or undermine your integrity among supervisors and co-workers. If you draw material from sources, you must provide citations. This applies to material from articles, books, and the Internet. Your instructor will most likely recognize material that you did not write or come up with yourself. Don't take a chance, because the consequences will be quite severe when you are caught.

Remember that instructors have access to the same Internet you do. Understanding what constitutes plagiarism and the consequences of plagiarizing is your responsibility.

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