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Types of Academic Dishonesty

Cheating.Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials in any academic exercise or having someone else do work for you. Examples of cheating include looking at another student’s paper during a test, bringing an answer sheet to a test, obtaining a copy of a test prior to the test date or submitting homework borrowed from another student.

Fabrication.Inventing or falsifying information. Examples of fabrication include inventing data for an experiment you did not do or did not do correctly or making reference to sources you did not use in a research paper.

Facilitating academic dishonesty.Helping someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes giving someone a paper or homework to copy from or allowing someone to cheat from your test paper.

Plagiarism. Using the words or ideas of another writer without attribution, so that they seem as if they are your own. Plagiarism ranges from copying someone else’s work word for word, to rewriting someone else’s work with only minor word changes (mosaic plagiarism), to summarizing work without acknowledging the source. (See the Writing Center Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism for further information on plagiarism.)

Multiple submission.Submitting work you have done in previous classes as if it were new and original work. Although professors may occasionally be willing to let you use previous work as the basis of new work, they expect you to do new work for each class. Students seeking to submit a piece of work to more than one class must have the written permission of both instructors.

Abuse of academic materials.Harming, appropriating or disabling academic resources so that others cannot use them. This includes cutting tables and illustrations out of books to use in a paper, stealing books or articles and deleting or damaging computer files intended for others’ use.

Deception and misrepresentation.Lying about or misrepresenting your work, academic records or credentials. Examples of deception and misrepresentation include forging signatures, forging letters of recommendation and falsifying credentials in an application. Of particular concern, given the current popularity of collaborative projects, is taking credit for group work to which you did not contribute significantly or meet your obligations. In a collaborative project, all members of the group are expected to do their share. Group members may work together on each phase of the project or they may divide the tasks--one person might do background research; another might take charge of the lab experiments; another might be responsible for drafting the report. Even in a modular project, however, each member of the group is responsible for being familiar and involved with the entire project. Be sure to get clear instructions on your individual and collective responsibilities from each faculty member for each course.

Electronic dishonesty.Using network access inappropriately, in a way that affects a class or other students’ academic work. Examples of electronic dishonesty include using someone else’s authorized computer account to send and receive messages, breaking into someone else’s files, gaining access to restricted files, disabling others’ access to network systems or files, knowingly spreading a computer virus or obtaining a computer account under false pretenses.

Carelessness. When does carelessness become dishonesty? Students sometimes make minor mistakes in completing academic assignments. Mistyping one of many endnotes in a long paper, for example, may in most cases be considered a careless mistake, rather than an act of deliberate dishonesty.

When students make multiple mistakes in acknowledging sources, however, these mistakes cannot be considered simply careless. Students who copy long passages from a book or a Web source, for example, make a deliberate choice to do so. Such students have taken a short cut; instead of explaining the source of their ideas, they have simply stolen ideas from others. In such cases, carelessness is a form of dishonesty.

Students are responsible for knowing the academic integrity policy and may not use ignorance of the policy as an excuse for dishonesty.

Other types of academic dishonesty. The list above is a partial one. Instructors may explain in their syllabi other types of academic dishonesty relevant to the work in particular disciplines or particular courses.