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Tips to Prevent Violations of Academic Integrity

It is important that instructors put a statement regarding academic dishonesty/academic integrity in their syllabi. This informs students that you are aware that violations of academic integrity occurs and that you plan to pursue all violations. Just as importantly, it allows you to formally clarify what sorts of grey-area actions are or are not acceptable in your course (e.g., collaborative work). You may want to include a statement about your policy for handling cases of suspected violations (e.g., "Any incidence of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Judiciary Committee and can result in an F for the course."). Try to be specific on course syllabi if you are aware of violations that occur often. If your particular course uses devices such as "clickers", specify that possession alone, of an absent student's clicker can result in an accusation being reported. If switching of color-coded or numbered exams that are pre-placed on desk are suspected cases of violations, specify on course syllabi.

Cases of plagiarism often involve students improperly using Internet sources. If you allow students to use internet sources in papers for your class, tell them to include the URLs for those sources in their bibliography. You should warn them that copying (or closely paraphrasing text) text or figures from a website without citing it and placing it in quotation marks is plagiarism. It is no different from doing the same thing with a printed source. Inform students that assignments will be submitted to a plagiarism detection program on Blackboard (ie: SafeAssign) will be used. Professing ignorance of this rule will not be accepted as a legitimate basis for appealing an accusation of academic dishonesty.

If you suspect a student has plagiarized an internet source, the simplest way to test this hypothesis is to submit student's paper through the plagiarism detection program on Blackboard (ie: SafeAssign).

Approaches to Prevention:

An excellent discussion of plagiarism can be found at


Categories of Academic Dishonesty
Recommended Actions to Prevent Cheating
Legal Protection For Accusers