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Academic Dishonesty

University Policy

The University System supports and promotes academic honesty and personal integrity. Any form of academic dishonesty has no place in higher education. The University System does not tolerate dishonest efforts by its students. Students who are guilty of academic dishonesty can expect to be penalized. Any student who knowingly assists another student in dishonest behavior is equally responsible. An additional violation of the standards of academic honesty within a course may result in dismissal from the University System.


The most frequently observed form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. Plagiarism is the adoption or incorporation of another’s ideas without proper attribution of the source. It is more simply defined as taking the writings of another person or people and representing them to be one’s own. It is your obligation to read, understand, and comply with the University System’s plagiarism policy.

If you do not understand this policy, you need to ask your professor for assistance before a plagiarism problem arises.

To avoid plagiarism, you must credit the sources used when writing as essay, research paper, or other assignment in accordance with the appropriate style manual or format required in your course. Specific approaches to appropriate citation are found in writing style guides, such as Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th Edition or The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition.

Types of actions defined as plagiarism:

  • Using a direct quote from a source and not using quotation marks, in-text citation, and reference.
  • Paraphrasing a source and not using in-text citation and reference.
  • Submitting papers, assignments, exams, or forums that were completed by another student, or arranging for another person to complete your assignments for you.
  • Sharing your assignments, exams, or forums with other students.
  • Selling or purchasing (or copying) papers, assignments, or exams from any website that buys or sells them. This also applies if only partially used in student submission.
  • Citing a source with fake bibliographical information.
  • Writing a paper for another student.
  • Submitting a paper, assignment, quiz or exam (or portion thereof) that you submitted in a previous and/or concurrent class without requesting and receiving in writing prior permission from your instructor(s). This also applies to “revising” papers, assignments, quizzes or exams that were previously submitted in any course where credit was received or any course which was previously failed or from which you withdrew, even if it is the same course as your current registration.
  • Copying an image, audio, video, spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, etc., without proper citation and reference.
  • Working in a group effort without prior written faculty consent.
  • Consulting source materials or other students without prior written faculty consent.
  • Receiving or giving outside help without prior written faculty consent.
  • Writing a paper in one language and hiring someone to translate it into another language, presenting the translation as your original work.
  • Altering any information on forms or emails after the original has been submitted.
  • Presenting statistics, facts, or ideas that are not your own, or is not common factual knowledge either by the general population, or commonly known within the particular discipline, without citation, even if you view them as common knowledge in your own educational background. When in doubt, cite; definitions or other facts that seem basic to you may still require a citation. For example, the fact that person X is president of a country is a common knowledge fact.  Whether that president supports a progressive tax structure or has the majority of electoral support from a conservative base may be known to many but is something that requires citation to support.
  • Using or disseminating materials to third-party websites that buy or sell course work.

For information on the consequences of being found plagiarizing, please see the Other Adverse Actions section of the Student Handbook.

Plagiarism Detection

Turnitin has been integrated into the Assignments tool in all APUS classrooms. This allows all uploaded assignments to be automatically routed through the Turnitin repository. Turnitin's Originality Check helps faculty identify possible instances of plagiarism by checking students' writing for citation mistakes or inappropriate copying.

Students are encouraged to refer to the current version of the style guide used in their program for proper citing information. Supplemental writing resources are available  at Writing@APUS, located under the Resources & Services menu of the Trefry Library.

Examples of Plagiarism

An example of plagiarism is provided below:

The original source:

"Knowledge Management (KM) is the management of ensuring the organizational knowledge needs are met while utilizing the organization's existing assets. Knowledge supports decisions about the organization's products and services as well as its processes and procedures use in production. When knowledge is not managed, the organization is put at risk for losing internal sources that contain knowledge."

Below is a plagiarized version of the above (because it rearranges words and does not give a source.):

Knowledge Management (KM) ensures that the managers of organizations meet the needs as well as utilize organizations existing assets. Knowledge decisions support the organization's products and services in addition to it processes and procedures used in production. If knowledge is not managed, organizations are at risk for losing various sources of information containing knowledge.

An appropriate paraphrased version is given below (The concept is portrayed in an accurate manner and the author gets credit for it.):

Everhart (2003) notes that Knowledge Management (KM) encourages managers to meet organizational needs while using the organizations current assets. Additionally, knowledge can help an organization make decisions regarding its products and services, processes and procedures. If organizations mismanage their knowledge networks, the organization can lose valuable resources. (p.4)

The exact words of another author must be put in quotation marks and credit must be given to that author. Paraphrasing is permitted, but students must cite the author just as if exact quotes were used. If a student paraphrases and does not cite the author, it is considered plagiarism.

Be sure to refer to the appropriate writing style guide as directed by your instructor.

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