(originally posted in UBC FYI, July 2015)
During my first year at UBC, I heard the phrase academic integrity a lot. However, it didn’t really phase me because I just thought to myself: ‘I have tons of integrity- I’ll be fine!’ As my courses progressed I kept hearing the term and I began to wonder if there was more to this idea than just properly citing my sources. It turns out there was a lot more to it. In a nutshell, academic integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. As a university student, and a scholar, you are expected to submit original work and give credit to other people’s ideas. Put another way, your professor can’t do a research project where they take credit for someone else’s ideas and neither can you.
Breaking the rules of academic integrity carry stiff penalties (often a failing grade or worse) but it also goes against the point of being at university: to learn. As someone who now works with professors on a regular basis, I can guarantee you that they know when you’re not submitting original work. So how do you stay honest and within the parameters of academic integrity?
Here’s some tools:
Even if you’re under a serious time crunch, if you submit a late or incomplete paper, you’ll get a much better grade than a zero and possible long term repercussions. And if you’re just in a writing rut, reach out to your professor early and often.