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Academic Integrity

The Office of Academic Integrity strives to assist instructors and students with issues of academic integrity. It provides information for students and instructors alike to assist with the pursuit of knowledge and scholarship and to help avoid problems with dishonesty.

The most current Academic Integrity Policy is dated April 10, 2013 (effective July 1, 2013).

The main purpose of a university is to encourage and facilitate the pursuit of knowledge and scholarship. The attainment of this purpose requires the individual integrity of all members of the University community, including all graduate and undergraduate students. Scholars at McMaster demonstrate integrity in many ways:
  • Scholars practice intellectual honesty in the process of acquiring and extending knowledge. They do this by improving scholarly competence, and by exercising critical thinking and self-discipline.
  • Scholars show respect for and courtesy to others in free discussions on academic topics and recognize the right to free inquiry and opinion.
  • Scholars adhere to ethical requirements in their research.
  • Scholars acknowledge fully the work of others by providing appropriate references in papers, essays and the like and declaring the contributions of co-workers. Scholars do not take credit that is not earned.
  • Scholars strive to ensure that others are not put at a disadvantage in their pursuit of knowledge. They do not withhold material that should rightly be available to all.

The University states unequivocally that it demands scholarly integrity from all of its members. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive to the values of the University; furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to those students who pursue their studies honestly.



... is to submit academic work that has been, entirely or in part, copied from or written by another person without proper acknowledgement, or, for which previous credit has been obtained.

What does this mean?

  • Use your own words in writing an assignment.
  • When quoting distinguish it from your own writing.
  • When using a source you must acknowledge it.
  • When paraphrasing you must use your own language.
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