Breaches of Academic Integrity

Test yourself: Answer yes, no or maybe to each question.  Click on the question to see the correct answer with an explanation.

Questions 1: You are writing an essay. You ask a colleague at work to proofread the paper. He corrects your spelling and typos. He also lists a series of questions for you to think about. After reading them it's clear that you have not cited enough examples to support your main argument. You follow up on his suggestions. Is this a breach of academic integrity? yes or no or maybe

Maybe. Many faculty feel strongly that a student's work should be strictly his/her own and outside assistance interferes with demonstration of your knowledge. Outside help with spelling and typos might be considered a minor infraction compared to revisions that are not based on your own work. You are responsible for having a discussion with your mentor to establish ground rules for revising assignments.

Question 2: Your mentor's requirements for a research paper call for a minimum of ten references. You realize you used only eight sources. You add two books to your bibliography, even though you did not read them. Is this a breach of academic integrity? yes or no or maybe

Yes. By including these books in your bibliography, you are implying that you have read them and are familiar with their content. You are being dishonest about the extent of your research efforts.

Question 3: You are in an online course. After everyone introduces themselves in the online discussion room, you realize that the tutor is your best friend's brother whom you know well. If you remain silent about your relationship with the tutor, is this a breach of academic integrity? yes or no or maybe

Maybe. Personal relationships, whether past or present, may interfere with professional or educational obligations. It's a good idea to contact your instructor via e-mail to discuss whether you should remain in the class. You both may want to discuss this with your mentor who will be familiar with the college's policy in this area.

Question 4: You are writing a case study. Your assignment is to analyze and evaluate the development and introduction of a new product. Because you work at a consumer products company, you decide to write about a new product that is currently being test marketed. Is this a breach of academic integrity? yes or no or maybe

Most likely. You have a responsibility to your employer to protect the confidentiality of company information. Publicizing marketing plans or customer information may be a violation of this trust. It is good practice to check with your employer before discussing information specific to your place of work, whether it is a corporation, private business or government agency.

Question 5: You and two other students have been assigned a final project. One student does not contribute her fair share of the work. Rather than confront her, the two of you decide to list this person’s name as an author of the project. Is this a breach of academic integrity? yes or no or maybe

Yes. To give credit to a team member who has made little or no contribution is a misrepresentation of that student's effort. A candid conversation with the student as well as sharing this information with your mentor might have resolved the problem.

Scoring - click to view.

0-2 Correct Answers

Take some time to revisit the college's statement on academic integrity and review the examples of breaches of academic integrity.

3-4 Correct Answers

Pretty good! You may want to review the examples of unacceptable behavior listed in section on breaches of academic integrity.

5 Correct Answers

Excellent work. If you "walk the talk," you have the potential to be a role model for others in the Empire State College community

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