Cheating: The Arch Nemesis of Integrity

When we fail to excel with integrity, it may be called cheating, academic misconduct, academic dishonesty, or an academic integrity violation. 

Cheating occurs when a student attempts to get academic credit in a way that is dishonest, disrespectful, irresponsible, untrustworthy or unfair.

chart Cheating misrepresents a student’s knowledge and abilities undermines the instructor’s ability to honestly and fairly assess student knowledge and abilities. Cheating also undermines the university’s ability to honestly and fairly certify student knowledge and abilities

Instructors have the authority to define cheating in their classes because expectations for academic conduct are tied directly to learning objectives. So, there will be different rules and expectations for every class, and maybe every assignment in the same class!

To help you out, here are some general rules to apply unless the instructor tells you otherwise:

  • Complete all academic assignments by yourself.
  • Don't use any aids during an exam.
  • Acknowledge and cite source material in your papers or assignments.
  • Don't alter a graded exam and submit for regrade.
  • Don't copy another student's assignment, in part or in total, and submit it as your own work.
  • Don’t purchase help or assignment completion from anyone. And, no, buying it does not make it yours.
  • Don’t copy your online quiz or assignment answers from the internet or from anyone.

If in doubt about academic integrity, always return to this default position: produce independent work unless you are told otherwise. Always ask your instructor for guidance!

If you still have questions about what you need to avoid doing to ensure you excel with integrity, check out our frequently asked questions about what counts as cheating, see the Sanctioning Guidelines for defined examples of academic integrity violations, and always ask your instructor for specific rules in their class!