Academic Integrity

A Guide to Academic Integrity

Cornell University and other academic institutions have an important code of ethics regarding use of published materials for research, written reports etc. Failure to cite the sources of reference is plagiarism and is a violation of the University's Code of Conduct. Students assume responsibility for the content and integrity of their academic work.

Understanding Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

As an International Student at Cornell University you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the code of Academic Integrity and how this code will apply to your studies. Plagiarism is the most common violation of Academic Integrity. Violations of this code are easily avoidable and it is the goal of this handout to make sure that you understand the meaning of Academic Integrity and that you are able to represent your work without plagiarizing the work of others. If you are unfamiliar with these concepts and ways of citing and referencing the work of others, please read this handout and follow the web links to other resources that will guide you in this process.

General Guidelines and Resources

There are a variety of sources available to you at Cornell to assist you with understanding and adhering to the code of Academic Integrity. The best resources are your professors and the faculty and staff at the Cornell libraries. For most projects and papers you will need to know when and how to document, cite, and reference the work of others as you complete your own work.

  1. It is important that you use citations and references to acknowledge the work of others. This will allow readers to search for the original information that you use to make your claims. You need to document both primary and secondary sources of information.
  2. It is very important to use citations when you use a direct quote or reproduce whole passages of material, this is known as direct citation. It is also just as important to use citations even if you are only using an idea or concept from another person’s work and express this idea in your own words, this is a method known as indirect citation.
  3. To better understand the principles of Academic Integrity and when you need to use references in your work, follow the link below to the College and Arts and Sciences guide to Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism.
  4. You will need to choose among several styles to format your references. Most students choose MLA, APA, or Chicago. To understand how to use references in your work carefully study and implement the use of the Citation Tools recommended by the Cornell Libraries.

Violations of Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Students are subject to campus disciplinary proceedings if they knowingly represent the work of others as their own, give fraudulent assistance to another student, fabricate data to support laboratory or field work, or forge a signature to certify completion or approval of any assignment. Helping a student during exams, either in-class or during take home tests is also a violation of integrity. Thus, academic integrity requires that all submitted work, research written reports, examinations, term projects and laboratory reports be the students' own work.  Read the details on the Cornell academic ethics and the consequences of its violation.