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Academic Integrity Overview

Academic Integrity is being honest about your work and acknowledging the work of others. Charles Lipson, in his book, Doing Honest Work In College, lays out three principles which are the foundations of academic integrity. They are:  (1) "When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it." (2) "When you rely on someone else's work, you cite it. When you use their words, you quote them openly and accurately, and you cite them, too." (3) "When you present research materials, you present them fairly and truthfully. That's true whether the research involves data, documents, or the writings of other scholars."

At Macalester, there are two related definitions utilized in relation to issues of academic integrity:

  • “Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person’s work (words, ideas, data, etc.) in a graded or published piece or in a speech.”
  • “Cheating is the dishonest or unauthorized use of materials for academic work.”

While it is certainly important to not commit acts of cheating or plagiarism, there are many reasons to adhere to the principles of academic integrity beyond avoidance of being punished. Following these principles improves the quality of your work by adding integrity and context to your own ideas.