Avoiding Academic Misconduct:

Guidelines for Students

Official Policy of the University of Washington, Bothell

The following recommendations are made to students:

  1. Be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct, statements, guidelines, and enforcement procedures provided by the University of Washington and UW-Bothell. Those who violate university rules regarding academic misconduct are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including suspension and dismissal. Ignorance is no defense.
  2. Be honest at all times and act respectfully toward others. Do not seek unfair advantage over others by cheating, plagiarizing, fabrication, or facilitation. (See below for definitions.)
  3. Encourage others to behave fairly and to respect ethical academic conduct. Accept responsibility for refusing to assist in others' misconduct and discouraging others from engaging in misconduct. Recognize that you should make an effort to report clear cases of academic misconduct when you have witnessed them.
  4. If you are unsure about any part of an assignment, request clarification from the instructor. Failure to understand clear instructions is no excuse for misconduct.
  5. Make safe assumptions about academic honor:

    Always: WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK.

Maintaining Academic Integrity

provided by the Associated Students of UW-Bothell

Possible Examples of Academic Misconduct (including but not limited to these examples)

1. A classmate says she didn't have time to finish an assignment due today. She wants to copy the answers from your completed assignment. The assignment is only worth a small amount of the final grade, so it doesn't seem like any big deal. You let her copy.

2. A group research project is due tomorrow, but the group has been unable to gather all of the data that it needs. One group member says he read some statistics a while back that would support your thesis, but he can't remember the statistics exactly or their source. He suggests just using what he remembers and crediting another author. Others in the group agree because they think that the instructor rarely checks sources anyway.

3. A friend keeps looking over at your paper during a test. You feel uncomfortable, but you don't want to hurt your friend's feelings so you don't cover your answers.

4. A friend just completed a final exam. You are scheduled to take the same test from the same instructor two hours later. You ask your friend what to expect on the test.

5. You must write argumentative essays for both your English composition course and your political science course. You decide that rather than duplicating your efforts, you will submit one essay to both courses.

Types of Academic Misconduct

(including but not limited to these examples)

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: Cheating, Fabrication, Facilitation, and Plagiarism. These apply to any exam, research, course assignment, or other academic exercise that contributes, in whole or part, to the satisfaction of requirements for courses or graduation.


Includes, but is not limited to, giving or receiving unauthorized assistance; or intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials or information.

Some examples of cheating are:


Includes, but is not limited to, creating false information or data and presenting it as fact.

Some examples of fabrication are:


Helping or attempting to help another student violate any part of the Student Conduct Code, (WAC Chapter 478-120) regardless of whether such help is intentional, or failing to stop a known violation of the Code.

Some examples of facilitation:


Includes, but is not limited to, intentionally or unintentionally using another person's original words, ideas, or research in any academic exercise without properly crediting that person.

Some examples of plagiarism:

How to Avoid Plagiarism:

In academic work, the source of an idea or quote must be cited at the point where it is used. Listing sources at the end of a document is not sufficient. Formats for citations can be found in The Heath Handbook, 13th edition, the official composition reference book for the UW Bothell. These examples of plagiarism and proper citation are based on guidelines provided by Princeton and Northwestern Universities.

Original Article: The teenage detective who was once a symbol of spunky female independence has slowly been replaced by an image of prolonged childhood, currently evolving toward a Barbie Doll detective... Every few pages bring reminders of Nancy's looks, her clothing, her effect on other people...

Jackie Vivelo, “The Mystery of Nancy Drew,” Ms. 3.3 (Nov.-Dec. 1992): 76-77.

First Student Misuse: Nancy Drew, the teenage detective, is no longer a spunky, independent female. She seems younger and more like a Barbie Doll now. Her books mention her looks and her clothing every few pages.

The student has paraphrased most of the material and has borrowed some of the author's catchy phrases and unusual insights. Therefore, the student should have placed quotation marks around the author's words and should have credited the author by citing her. Without quotation marks and a citation, this is plagiarism.

Second Student Misuse: Nancy Drew is no longer sassy and adventurous. She has become younger and more clothing obsessed. I am not sure I'd want a daughter of mine reading these books.

The student has changed some of the wording, but the ideas in the first two sentences are essentially the same as Vivelo's original ideas. There should be a citation of Vivelo after the second sentence, to indicate that these ideas were hers. As written, it looks like the student is trying to take credit for the ideas and some of the catchy language of the original article.

Proper Student Use (APA format): Jackie Vivelo (1992) has observed that the modern Nancy Drew character is a more superficial, less independent “Barbie Doll” version of her former self. I agree with her assessment. It is interesting to compare the new Nancy with the modern version of the Hardy Boys. They are also obsessed with clothing and appearance.

Proper Student Use (MLA format): Jackie Vivelo has observed that the modern Nancy Drew character is a more superficial, less independent "Barbie Doll" version of her former self (76). I agree with her assessment. It is interesting to compare the new Nancy with the modern version of the Hardy Boys. They are also obsessed with clothing and appearance.

Vivelo's work is appropriately cited in both of these examples. (Ask your instructor which formatting style you should use.) The student has added ideas of his own. It is clear where Vivelo's ideas are used and where the student's own ideas appear.

Other Suggestions for Avoiding Plagiarism:

Do not copy and paste text off the Internet. This is a violation of copyright law as well as a form of plagiarism.

When writing a paper, try to use your own words the majority of the time.*

Don't make slight variations in the language and then fail to give credit to the source. Even if the expression is essentially the same, the author deserves credit.*

Even if you aren't directly quoting the material, you should document information and ideas which you use in your paper whenever they are new to you.*

*from Raymond Hendrickson, The Research Paper (New York: Henry Holt, 1957), xiii.

Students suspected of misconduct have several important rights and responsibilities. Please check the UWB Student Handbook for important information.


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