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Practising academic integrity
On the previous two pages, we've spoken a lot about what academic integrity it and why you need to practise it in everything you do at College and beyond into University and your future careers. However, what you really need to know is how to practise academic integrity.
In the broadest sense, you can achieve this by following the rules that are set out for you in tests and assignments, and being truthful about what work is yours and what is the work of others.
More specifically, here are some things you can do to practise academic integrity:
- Do your own work: It's okay to ask for help understanding a concept if you need it, but remember that your actual work should always be your own.
- Come to class prepared: If you're prepared for class discussions and lectures, you'll have a easier time understanding things, which will, in turn, make your assignments easier and will reduce the temptation to plagiarize or cheat.
- Participate in class discussions: The more you participate, asking questions and adding your own thoughts to the discussion, the better chance you will have of getting a clear picture of the ideas being discussed.
- Let others talk and listen to their ideas: We can learn from each other. The more you listen to the ideas of others in class discussions, the better you may understand what is being discussed. You may even discover new points of view that you hadn't even considered.
- Do your part during group work: If everyone does their part in group work, not only will the group project be easier in the long run, but you will not be as tempted to plagiarize or cheat when deadlines loom.
- Respect your teacher and your peers: Remember, everyone in your class is there for the same reasons you are. All the other students in the class also want to learn the subject matter, and the the teacher wants to help you learn it. Respecting this is the first step towards creating a great place to learn for everyone. Cheating and plagiarizing, on the other hand, both show a fundamental disrespect to everyone else in the class. They are attempts to get an unfair advantage to get around the system set in place for learning, and only end up hurting everyone.
- Don’t vandalize material: Shared learning materials like books from the Library or College computers or laboratory equipment are all there to help everyone learn. Vandalizing that material means that others won't have access to what they need and shows a fundamental disrespect for your teachers and your peers.
- Follow copyright rules: There are many rules for how you can and cannot copy and reuse the works of others. If you are ever in doubt about how you can reuse or copy a particular book, article, video, or other source, don't hesitate to talk to a librarian.
- Credit your sources: The best thing you can do to avoid plagiarism it to always credit where your ideas, theories, facts, or evidence came from. Even the smallest bit of information, if you took it from somewhere else, should be credited.
Academic integrity and writing assignments
The Marianopolis College Writing Centre has created a page that gives detailed help on how to practise academic integrity in your written work:
Here are some additional things you can do to practise academic integrity when writing assignments for class:
- Start your work early: This sounds obvious and easier said than done, but the more you can plan ahead and give yourself ample time to finish an assignment, the less temptation there will be to plagiarize or cheat.
- Keep your work to yourself: Unless an assignment specifically asks you to work with someone else, you should be doing the work on your own. If you share your work with someone else and they copy your work and submit it as their own, you are both considered to be guilty of plagiarism and will have to face the consequences of your actions.
- Keep track of info for all your sources: If you keep track of your sources as you research your assignment, you'll have an easier time tracking down what you need when your write out the final version.
- Make in-text citations/footnotes and Works Cited/Reference List/Bibliography entries as you write: Inserting in-test citations/footnotes and creating Works CIted/Reference List/Bibliography entries for the sources you used as you use them is going to reduce the chance that you forget to cite a source. Remember: forgetting to cite a source is still considered to be plagiarism.
- Save multiple drafts of your work: This is for two reasons. First, you may want to go back to an early version of an assignment to retrieve something you've deleted or changed in the newest version. Second, if your teacher suspects plagiarism or cheating, they can ask to see all the work you've done on an assignment. By documenting the versions of your assignment as it progresses, you can easily show that it is your work.
- Keep your notes: Again, if a teacher suspects plagiarism or cheating, they can ask to see all of the notes you took when researching an assignment. If you keep them around, even after you've completed the assignment, you can show that your research was your own.
- Pay attention to the individual requirements of teachers: Each assignment will have different requirements, and your teachers will outline those requirements thoroughly. If you're ever unsure about a requirement for an assignment, don't hesitate to ask your teacher. They'll be happy to clarify things for you.
Citation Style Guides
It's all well and good for us to say that you need to cite your sources, but you need to know how citation styles work. Well, you're in luck, because we've put together online guides for all of the major citation styles used at the College.