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Academic Integrity


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Why Students Cheat or Plagiarize

Plagiarism encompasses a wide range of actions from merely writing incorrect citations to the theft of someone else's work. In the mind of the student who cheats or plagiarizes, the grade is more important than the understanding and the true acquisition of knowledge. For these students the pressure to perform overrides all other considerations. Students who cheat or plagiarize often complain that they did not have enough time to prepare, that others are doing it, or that they do not know that they are violating academic honesty, etc. Whatever the excuses are, academic dishonesty can never be acceptable in any form.


Except where indicated as a group assignment or project, all submitted assignments must be done individually and must be your own work. This includes written, programming, and design assignments. Copying assignments in whole or in parts, altering the work of others, or allowing other people to do your own work and submitting it for grading is a clear violation of academic honesty. Also, you must refrain from giving your work to other students, especially if they were your friends. Allowing your friends to copy your work will not help them, but will put you in trouble.  Detected copies are given zeros to all involved students including those who did the original work. If repeated cheating cases are detected on assignments then a failing grade will result in the course.

Seeking Help

Sometimes you are stuck in an assignment at a given problem and you do not know how to solve it. You tried your best, but still cannot figure out the solution. How do you seek help to solve a problem? There are many ways. You may go first to your professor and seek help from him. Alternatively, you may seek help from graduate assistants. You can even seek help from senior students, who have previously taken the course and are well acquainted with its subjects, as long as they outline to you the concepts and ideas, but do not provide you with detailed solutions. You can then develop your own detailed solution after having obtained a clear understanding of the problem and what it takes to solve it.

Collaboration on Group Projects

Collaboration is required on group projects, where clearly indicated. The number of students that can be involved in a given group is limited according to the project requirements. Submitted projects must have the names of all the involved students. All the students must be involved in the project work. Division of tasks and individual contributions must be clearly indicated.


Using unauthorized information or notes on an examination, peeking at others work, or altering a graded exam to claim more grades are severe violations of academic integrity. Detected situations will result in a failing grade in the exam, and depending on the severity of the situation,  some cases may possibly end up in a failing grade in the course.

Other Forms of Academic Dishonesty

Cheating and plagiarism are only two forms of academic dishonesty. Other forms include, but not limited to: fabrication or falsification of information, multiple submissions of identical work to claim credit in multiple courses, impersonating another student or allowing another student to impersonate you during exams or other academic activities, seeking unauthorized access to computer accounts and databases, threatening harm to any faculty, staff, or student, offering bribery to faculty, staff, or any university employee to effect a grade change. All these forms will be taken very seriously and will not be tolerated.



Last Updated: Sunday September 01, 2013, by Dr. Muhamed Mudawar