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Academic Integrity Special Feature

Many AU students who are accused of plagiarism or cheating do not even realize they had done so or did not expect the severe consequences.

Plagiarism and cheating are Academic Misconduct offences that are taken very seriously. There can be severe penalties, ranging from a reduced or rejected grade to being suspended or expelled from the University.

Make sure you know what cheating and plagiarism are, and how to avoid them!

What is Plagiarism? 

Plagiarism happens when you submit or present someone else’s ideas or passages as your own, without properly citing your source. Plagiarism can happen in various ways:

  • Using ideas or wording from another source without acknowledging where they came from.
  • Not using quotation marks if using someone else’s words, even if you cite a source.
  • Borrowing or purchasing papers to pass off as your own.
  • Submitting your own work for more than one course without the permission of the instructor(s).

What is Cheating? 

You may not realize that if you share your work with others or post it online, you are cheating and you may be suspended from University. Cheating can include:

  • Sharing papers or exams online.
  • Communicating content of exams to others.
  • Leaving exams exposed to view or looking at other’s exam papers.
  • Fabricating facts in assignments or labs.
  • Using course materials during exams when it is prohibited.

Learn more about plagiarism and cheating on the AU website here.

How to Avoid Academic Misconduct:

  • Use your own words when writing papers or exams.
  • If you use an idea from another person, cite the source even if you are paraphrasing.
  • If you use the exact phrase of another person, put it in quotation marks and cite the source.
  • Follow the specific “style guide” or “citation guide” for each of your courses.
  • Do not share your exams or papers with others.

For more info on how to avoid academic misconduct, visit the AU website here

*Note: Info in this article is taken from Athabasca University website as linked above. 

Want to know more? Check out AU’s Academic Honesty webinar online here.  


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