Avoiding plagiarism and cheating

Practice academic integrity at all times!

Plagiarism and cheating 101

Plagiarism is the act when one "deliberately uses someone else's language, ideas or other original material without acknowledging its source" (Karl Stolley, Allen Brizee, Joshua Paiz). There are many reasons why students claim to resort to plagiarism and cheating, including:

1. "Students may find course, citing, or assignment unimportant" (Karl Stolley, Allen Brizee, Joshua Paiz).

2. Some of them may have lots of activities to tend to during and outside of school and run out of time to do their own work, which leads to alternate ways to get the work completed.

3. It's been noted that "students may fear failure or fear taking risks in their own work" (Karl Stolley, Allen Brizee, Joshua Paiz).

There are four ways teachers, parents, and the school community in general can do to deter academic dishonesty.


Give students the opportunity in open discussion to ask questions about the topic. Ensure them that they are in a safe environment and no question is a dumb question. Let the students know about how important it is to have genuine authorship and let them practice citation techniques. You can also "make the penalty for academic dishonesty clear in the syllabus" (Lars R. Jones, 22-23).


When the students ask questions or state concerns they may have, you'll want to be ready with a correct answer. Be sure to "familiarize yourself with the policies and publications in the handbook" (Jones, 23). This way, you can be certain that you're providing the students with accurate information with facts to back you up. If you're unsure if a student has previously committed acts of academic dishonesty, you can "contact the department head or appropriate administration" (Jones, 23).


If you catch your child or student cheating, make sure not to go overboard with the penalization. Talk to them about what they've done, why they've done it, and why it's not acceptable. To determine the punishment, contact the administration at your school to decide the proper actions that need to be taken.


Teachers, it's been reported that you are "a primary motivation to cheat" (Murdock, Beauchamp, and Hinton). They claim that the assignment was not clearly explained or that other homework given prevented them from doing it. Workload is often an excuse why a student would cheat, however, it is not your fault. Students should learn to manage their time in order to complete necessary tasks.

Students, make sure you realize how important it is to have original ideas within your work.

There are a lot of punishable acts that count as cheating. If caught, you could receive an "F grade on the assignment, F grade in the course, suspension, or even expulsion" (Karl Stolley, Allen Brizee, Joshua Paiz). Academic dishonesty is not something that is taken lightly so always cite and recognize your sources.

Created by: Jennifer Garcia, Anna Hamilton, and Ashley Cochran