Academic Integrity Tips for Students

This information offers some basic practical advice for students on how to avoid some of the most common types of academic misconduct at Kennesaw State University, with special emphasis on helping students avoid unintentional offenses.

  • KNOW THE RULES. You agreed to follow the Code of Academic Integrity when you became a KSU student. Make sure you know what you agree to and ask questions if you don’t understand. Once you are determined to have had a reasonable opportunity to know a rule, then you can get in trouble for breaking that rule even if you did so unintentionally.
  • Always get assignment directions from your professor. If a classmate gives you bad information, even by mistake, you could still get in trouble (such as by using notes on a test that isn’t open note). Make sure you understand your instructions.
  • Don’t give away copies of your work without permission. Once your work is in someone else’s hands, you don’t know what they are going to do with it and they might copy without your consent. Check with your professor first.
  • Procrastinate wisely. You can’t always get every assignment done early, so be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. Citations can take time to do correctly, so waiting to the last minute to cite a long paper or project risks errors of sloppiness or desperation. Prioritize what you can afford to let slide and what you need to tackle earlier.
  • Keep that phone away! The moment you pull out an unapproved electronic device during a quiz, test, or exam, you are automatically considered cheating even if you’re just checking the time.
  • If you use someone else’s words in your work, make sure you: 1) put those words in quotation marks (or use block quotes); 2) clearly identify the source of those words; and 3) include enough information to find that source as part of your comprehensive list of source (i.e. works cited, reference page, etc.). If your professor can’t tell what words were authored by whom, or can’t track down all the sources you used, that’s plagiarism.
  • If you use someone else’s ideas in your work (i.e. paragraph), make sure you: 1) identify where you got those ideas and who came up with those ideas; and 2) list the source in your comprehensive list. Remember that it only counts as a paraphrase if you truly put it in your own words and faithfully represent what the source was trying to say.
  • Always do original work. If you want to turn in something you wrote in the past (such as reusing a paper you wrote for another class), get permission from your professor first. Re-use without permission is self-plagiarism.
  • ASK FOR HELP. Life happens, and some classes turn out to be harder than expected. If you’re struggling, tell your professor as soon as possible to get the most extra help possible. Professors want to assist students, especially students who are proactive about asking for that help.
  • IF YOU DO SOMETHING WRONG, COOPERATE. People make mistakes. We’re all human. KSU’s academic misconduct resolution process rewards students who take responsibility for their mistakes with more lenient consequences. You will always get the best outcome by being fully honest.