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Academic Integrity

Test Yourself

You've reached the end of the tutorial!  Your instructor may supply you with a self-test to assess your learning—but first, let's review. In this tutorial, we:

  • Discussed the concept of 'academic integrity' and identified five different kinds of academic dishonesty.
  • Identified the key points of VCSU's V530.01 Academic Integrity Policy and the procedures and penalties associated with violating the policy (V530.04 University Hearings and Appeals Board).
  • Differentiated between the acceptable use of another's ideas/words and plagiarism.
  • Identified several reasons why it is essential to document/reference sources of information/ideas.
  • Recognized three strategies you can use to incorporate another person's ideas/words into your own work.
  • Identified the elements that are required for a complete reference to a source of information and be familiar with referencing styles.
  • Identified the usefulness of tools such as EasyBib and where you can get help at VCSU from an expert if you have questions about whether you are using or referencing material appropriately.
  • Underlined the importance of seeking help if you have questions regarding any issue associated with academic integrity.

If you are unclear on any of these areas, please use the navigation menu at the top of this tutorial to visit those sections for review.

Apply Your Skills Cases

In the next series of text boxes, we will present two article segments and their associated student writing samples. In each skills case we will present the original source and some writing samples using this source. Your task will be to identify which writing samples display academic integrity, which do not, and why.

What Should I Look For? 

Look for these clues to tell you if a writing sample displays academic integrity (good) or not (bad):

Good

Use of a direct quotation to indicate that the words quoted were taken from another source.  

Use of a paraphrase that is clearly acknowledged. A paraphrase uses your own words to explain someone else's idea or information obtained from another source. (It is often preferable to paraphrase rather than quote directly in order to emphasize the points that are particularly relevant for your argument.)  

Use of citations within the text to accompany each and every use of another source, whether directly quoted or paraphrased, including sources from the Internet.

Every citation matches a full referencein the Bibliography or Works Cited page included with your paper, allowing your readers to easily find the original source.  

Bad

Copying (quoting in whole or in part without citing a reference). Anything that includes most of the words or phrases in a passage can be considered copying, even if some of the original words are omitted or changed.  

Paraphrasing without acknowledgement. Failing to acknowledge a paraphrase implies that the writing represents your own original idea.  

Using an idea or information without acknowledgement. Be careful of situations where you use another person's idea without directly quoting or paraphrasing a specific passage of their writing. It is still necessary to acknowledge that idea, or it will appear that you are misrepresenting it as your own.  

Making up references to non-existent articles– this is a violation of academic integrity for which you may be charged and, if found guilty, heavily penalized.

Case 1

In this case, we will look at developing a paraphrase from an original source.

  1. Review the original material segment noted below.
  2. Proceed to the next page and assess the first of the three writing samples associated with the passage. 

The Original Material:

Gutenberg had grasped that what was practical in the fourth decade of the fifteenth century—such procedures as impressing stamps into clay or tooling bookbindings or printing fabrics, the engraving skills of goldsmithery and the casting techniques used in bell-founding, and harnessing the power of the wine- or paper-making press to print or impress—could lead to an epoch-making new process, whereby he could cast virtually unlimited numbers of identical letters in lead, from which he could then print at will, and so create a means of multiplying information such as no earlier age had enjoyed.

Source:  Füssel, S. (2005). Gutenberg and the Impact of Printing (D. Martin, Trans.). Burlington, VT: Ashgate (1999), p. 195.

Citation Examples for Case 1

Example #1

Gutenberg’s printing press was an epoch-making process, combining the extant technologies of his environment to create a fantastic new means of disseminating information.  By combining techniques from a vast array of trades, Gutenberg seized on an innovation that fundamentally altered the way scholars discoursed throughout Europe.

 Example #2

Füssel (1999/2005) discusses how Gutenberg’s innovative combination of existing technologies could lead to an epoch-making new process in the arena of information production (p. 195).

Example #3

Füssel (1999/2005) describes Gutenberg’s perception of his new printing press technology as “a means of multiplying information such as no earlier age had enjoyed” (p. 195).

Case 2

In this case, we will incorporate the information from this passage into a sentence or paragraph.

  1. Review the original material segment noted below.
  2. Proceed to the next page and assess the first of the three writing samples associated with the passage.

     Many changes affect molten rock during its transformation from subterranean magma to surface lava.  Three materials, or phases, are usually present in magma.  First, a viscous silicate melt; second, a variable proportion of crystals; and third, a gas phase.     

Each of these phases influences the way in which the magma erupts at the surface.  When subjected to subtly different eruption mechanisms, a single magma may give rise to startlingly different eruption products.  There is a world of difference between obsidian—rhyolitic glass that shatters at a blow into razor-sharp splinters—and pumice; rock with a consistency resembling expanded polystyrene that is so light and frothy that it floats on water.  Both, however, may be derived from the same magma, and both may be erupted from a single volcano at the same time.  Everything depends on the quantity and behaviour of the gas phase. 

Source:  Francis, P., Oppenheimer, C. (2004). Volcanoes. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 93.

Citation Examples for Case 2

Example #1

A volcanic eruption can produce a variety rock types, depending on numerous factors.  Chief among those factors is the gas phase.  As Francis and Openheimer (2004) note, everything depends on the quantity and behavior of the gas phase (p. 93).

Example #2

Francis and Openheimer (2004) describe the three stages of magma in their exceptional introduction to the topic:

Many changes affect molten rock during its transformation from subterranean magma to surface lava.  Three materials, or phases, are usually present in magma.  First, a viscous silicate melt; second, a variable proportion of crystals; and third, a gas phase. (p. 93)