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Academic Integrity

Understanding Academic Dishonesty

Understanding Academic Dishonesty

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Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage.”

    • Academic Integrity Policy, McMaster University, 2016, Page 6

Types of Academic Work

Students receive credit for academic work. You must complete these tasks independently. Also, you must not help other people avoid their own academic work.

The tasks below qualify as academic work:

  1. Academic paper
  2. Term test (online or in person)
  3. Proficiency test
  4. Essay
  5. Thesis
  6. Research paper
  7. Evaluation
  8. Project
  9. Assignment/ examination (oral or written)
  10. Co-op/ placement

Types of Academic Dishonesty


Do not…

  • Use the words of others in your writing without citing the source
  • Use the ideas/thoughts of others without citing the source
  • Use the phrasing of others without citing the source
  • Submit same academic work
    • If you have already received a credit for a paper, you cannot resubmit the same paper to receive credit in a different course.
  • Submit academic work that is purchased or acquired                      
    • Do not pay someone to write your paper.
    • Do not buy a paper that has already been written.

Improper collaboration

  • Do not work with others to complete assignments that are supposed to be completed independently. If you are seeking help from another person to review your writing, please see McMaster’s Guidelines for Editorial Support to ensure you retain sole authorship of the work.

Copy/use of unauthorized aids in tests, exams or labs

  • In a closed-book exam, do not reference source materials that contains the answers.

Procure/distribute/receive an examination, test or materials

  • Do not distribute exam content.
  • Do not review exam content prior to taking the exam

Do not…

  • Remove academic work
  • Alter a grade or alter materials
  • Steal, destroy or tamper with another student’s work
  • Prevent another student from completing academic work
  • Fail to protect academic work
    • Do not share your work with others. If another student submits your work as their own, you may face a charge of academic dishonesty.
  • Misrepresent academic credentials
  • Submit false information / medical documentation
  • Forge, alter or fabricate University documents
  • Forge, alter or fabricate transcripts, letters of reference or other official documents
  • Impersonate another student
  • Use a false signature
  • Commit research misconduct

How to Avoid Academic Dishonesty

  1. Protect your work. Do not share your assignments with others.
  2. Submit work of the highest academic and moral quality.
  3. Reference or cite all ideas, concepts, facts, phrases, sentences or data you did not create.
  4. Contract Cheating: Do not use social media or internet companies to assist you with completing a test or assignment.
  5. Not sure? Contact your Professor and ask for clarification. Need more time? Ask your Instructor.

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