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Academic Misconduct

To file a report of Academic Misconduct, please download and complete Form A.

If the student challenges the findings of misconduct or the sanctions, please download and complete Form B.

A guide for instructors on filling out Forms A and B is available here.

A guide for students who have received Form A or B is available here.


Academic Integrity Campaign

Safe Assign




A. The Importance of Academic Integrity

B. Ten Principles of Academic Integrity

C. The Costs of Academic Dishonesty 

D. Avoiding Academic Dishonesty 


A. Introduction: Sharing a Commitment for a Just Community

B. Allocation of Responsibilities

C. Academic Misconduct Defined 

D. Student Disciplinary Procedures 

E. University Disciplinary Sanctions for Academic Misconduct


A. Practical Examples of Academic Misconduct

B. Unauthorized Collaboration

C. Plagiarism

D. Notetaking and Proofreading

E. Helpful Links


            A. Tips to Prevent Plagiarism 

            B. What to do if you suspect or discover that a student has cheated 

            C. Helpful Links

 I.          COMMITMENT TO ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Academic Integrity Campaign

The University of Cincinnati, Office of University Judicial Affairs, Faculty Senate, and UC community have recognized that academic integrity should be on the forefront of everyone’s minds at the University of Cincinnati.  As a result, the Office of University Judicial Affairs, Faculty Senate, and others, have launched an ongoing Academic Integrity Campaign to educate students regarding academic integrity.   Under the drive of UC/21, the Academic Integrity Campaign emphasizes that character counts and integrity is important while we move toward academic excellence.  

Academic Integrity Campaign Committee Members


 A.        The Importance of Academic Integrity


" . . . knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

-          Samuel Johnson

One goal of the University of Cincinnati is "[t]o foster learning among all members of the University community while recognizing individual differences in achievement, experience, and aspirations."  The sharing of knowledge forms the heart of learning at the University of Cincinnati.  Scholars, teachers, and students all participate in this community of learning, where the ideas and information that have been developed over centuries are disseminated, elaborated upon and added to in a continual process of intellectual advancement.  High standards of academic integrity help ensure that this process functions smoothly.

At its core, academic integrity requires honesty.  This involves giving credit where it is due and acknowledging the contributions of others to one's own intellectual efforts.  It also includes assuring that one's own work has been completed in accordance with the standards of one's course of discipline.  Without academic integrity, neither the genuine innovations of the individual nor the progress of a given field of study can adequately be assessed, and the very foundation of scholarship itself is undermined.  Academic integrity for all these reasons, is an essential link in the process of intellectual advancement.

Academic dishonesty diminishes the University as an institution and all members of the University community.  With that in mind, the following pages are available to the University of Cincinnati community to assist in defining, supporting, and upholding the values essential to the academic process.

Borrowed from the University of Texas

and The University of California Santa Cruz

 B.        Ten Principles of Academic Integrity

 By Donald L. McCabe and Gary Pavela

Borrowed from College Administrative Publications, Inc.

830-D Fairview Road, Asheville, NC 28803-1081

1.       Affirm the importance of academic integrity.

Institutions of higher education are dedicated to the pursuit of truth.  Faculty members need to affirm that the pursuit of truth is grounded in certain core values, including diligence, civility, and honesty.

2.       Foster a love of learning.

A commitment to academic integrity is reinforced by high academic standards.  Most students will thrive in an atmosphere where academic work is seen as challenging, relevant, useful, and fair.

3.       Treat students as ends in themselves.

Faculty members should treat their students as ends in themselves, deserving individual attention and consideration.  Students will generally reciprocate by respecting the values of their teachers, including a commitment to academic integrity.

4.       Promote an environment of trust in the classroom.

Most students are mature adults, and value an environment free of arbitrary rules and trivial assignments, where trust is earned and given.

5.       Encourage student responsibility for academic integrity.

With proper guidance, students can be given significant responsibility to help protect and promote the highest standards of academic integrity.  Students want to work in communities where competition is fair, integrity is respected, and cheating is punished.  They understand that one of the greatest inducements to engaging in academic dishonesty is the perception that academic dishonesty is rampant.

6.       Clarify expectations for students.

Faculty members have a primary responsibility to help designing and cultivating the educational environment and experience.  They must clarify their expectations in advance regarding honesty in academic work, including the nature and scope of student collaboration.  Most students want such guidance and welcome it in course syllabi.

7.       Develop fair and relevant forms of assessment.

Students expect their academic work to be fairly and fully assessed.  Faculty members should use, and continuously revise, forms of assessment that require active and creative thought and promote learning opportunities for students.

8.       Reduce opportunities to engage in academic dishonesty.

Prevention is a critical line of defense against academic dishonesty.  Students should not be tempted or induced to engage in acts of academic dishonesty by ambiguous policies, undefined or unrealistic standards for collaboration, inadequate classroom management, or poor examination security.

9.       Challenge academic dishonesty when it occurs.

Students observe how faculty members behave and what values they embrace.  Faculty members who ignore or trivialize academic dishonesty send the message that the core values of academic life, and community in general, are not worth any significant effort to enforce.

10.   Help define and support campus-wide academic integrity.

Acts of academic dishonesty by individual students can occur across artificial divisions of departments and schools.  Although faculty members should be the primary role models for academic integrity, responsibility for defining, promoting, and protecting academic integrity must be a community-wide concern, not only to identify repeat offenders and apply consistent due process procedures, but to affirm the shared values that make colleges and universities true communities.

C.        The Costs of Academic Dishonesty

Others may decide to cheat.  If so, don't assume that it is tolerated.  Students can be suspended or expelled permanently from the College or University for academic misconduct.  A failing grade in a course is a common sanction.  In addition, scholastic dishonesty leads to the creation of a disciplinary record, which may impact your future employment and education opportunities.  In short, it is simply not worth the risks.

Academic misconduct also has consequences that extend beyond the individual.  In the marketplace where graduates compete for jobs, the value of a University of Cincinnati degree is largely related to the reputation of the University.  Incidents of scholastic dishonesty reflect poorly on the institution's integrity and lessen the worth of the education attained by all University students.

 Borrowed from the University of Texas

D.        Avoiding Academic Dishonesty 

General Tips for Avoiding Academic Misconduct

·         Know what your instructor expects.

·         Make sure you understand your assignment and what resources you are permitted to use.

·         Take notes and try to use your own words when taking notes.

·         If you use another author’s words, make sure you cite the source using quotes and a proper citation form.

·         Even if you paraphrase, you are still required to cite the source of the original idea or concept.

·         Plan ahead and manage your time effectively and efficiently.  Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your assignment.  Give yourself enough time to complete an assignment, so that you can do the best work you can.

·         Familiarize yourself with the Student Code of Conduct and the University’s policy on academic misconduct.

·         If you think you might need help in a course, get tutoring early.  Tutorial services provide help with issues of academic integrity such as plagiarism.  Tutoring is available through the Department of Educational Services, which can be contacted at 556-3244.


A.        Introduction: Sharing a Commitment for a Just Community

The University of Cincinnati is a public comprehensive system of learning and research that serves a diverse student body with a broad range of interests and goals.  The faculty of the University produces world-renowned scholarship and nurtures innovation in and out of the classroom.  As well, the faculty, staff, and administrative support an educational setting of excellence, opportunity and service.

In embracing our roles with the learning community, we subscribe to the defining purposes, traditions, and diversity of the University of Cincinnati.  Through are actions, we will strive to make the University of Cincinnati a more caring and just community.

As members of this community, we will

Pursue Learning and Scholarship

by building on successes, learning from mistakes, and pursuing quality in teaching, research, and creative endeavors.

 Strive for Excellence

by aspiring to achieve our fullest potential in our educational and personal pursuits.

Celebrate the Uniqueness of Each Individual

by respecting individual differences and promoting common interests.

 Practice Civility

by extending to those we meet the same respect, cooperation, and caring that we respect from others.

Embrace Freedom and Openness

by working to create an environment that is safe and affirming, one that nurtures independent thinking and the fee and open expression of ideas.

 Seek Integrity

by aspiring to the highest moral and ethical standards.

Promote Justice

by working to build a learning environment that offers everyone an equal opportunity to grow, flourish, and contribute.

 Accept Responsibility

by striving to build a learning environment committed to those common values and principles.

B.        Allocation of Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

Students engaging in academic dishonesty diminish their education and bring discredit to the academic community.  To help maintain an environment of academic integrity at the University of Cincinnati:

·         Students shall not violate the sections of the Student Code of Conduct applicable to academic integrity.

·         Students shall avoid situations likely to compromise academic integrity. 

·         Students shall observe the generally applicable provisions of the Student Code of Conduct whether or not faculty members establish special rules of academic integrity for particular classes.

·         Failure to prevent cheating does not excuse students from compliance to the applicable sections in the Student Code of Conduct.

·         Students shall work with faculty and administrators to prevent academic misconduct. 

Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty members can significantly diminish academic dishonesty through clear expression of their expectations.  To maintain an environment of academic integrity at the University of Cincinnati:

·         Faculty members shall foster an expectation of academic integrity.

·         Faculty members shall notify students of their policies for the submission of academic work that has previously been submitted for academic advancement as well as any special rules of academic integrity established for a particular class.   For example, students should be informed whether or not a faculty member permits collaboration on homework.

·         Faculty members should make every reasonable effort to avoid situations conducive to infractions of the Student Code of Conduct. 

·         Faculty members will be subject to the applicable University rules if found to have intentionally made a false charge of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Administrative Responsibilities

Administrators can significantly diminish academic integrity by maintaining policies that reward academic integrity and justly resolve violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

·         Administrators should establish and publish general student and faculty guidelines regarding academic integrity.

·         Student and faculty should be informed of the University policies regarding a violation of the applicable sections of the Student Code of Conduct.

·         The Administration for the University of Cincinnati shall serve as a liaison between students and faculty to resolve alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

Borrowed from the University of Arizona

 C.      Academic Misconduct Definitions

 a.       Aiding and Abetting Academic Misconduct

 Knowingly helping, procuring or encouraging another person to engage in academic misconduct.

 b.      Cheating

 Any dishonesty or deception in fulfilling an academic requirement such as:

 i.        Use and/or possession of unauthorized material or technological devices during an examination (any written or oral work submitted for evaluation and/or grade).

 ii.      Obtaining assistance with or answers to examination questions from another person with or without that person’s knowledge.

 iii.    Furnishing assistance with or answers to examination questions to another person.

 iv.    Possessing, using, distributing or selling unauthorized copies of an examination or computer program.

 v.     Representing as one’s own an examination taken by another person.

 vi.    Taking an examination in place of another person.

 vii.  Obtaining unauthorized access to the computer files of another person or agency and/or altering or destroying those files.

 c.       Fabrication

 The falsification of any information, research statistics, lab data, or citation in an academic exercise.

 d.      Plagiarism

 i.        Submitting another’s published or unpublished work in whole, in part or in paraphrase, as one’s own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, quotation marks, citations, or bibliographic references.

 ii.      Submitting as one’s own original work, material obtained from an individual, agency, or the internet without reference to the person, agency or webpage as the source of the material.

 iii.    Submitting as one’s own original work material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators



 A.        Practical Examples of Plagiarism

 ·         Turning in someone else's work as your own.

·         Changing the words of an original source is not sufficient to prevent plagiarism. If you have retained the essential idea of an original source, and have not cited it, then no matter how drastically you may have altered its context or presentation, you have still plagiarized.

·         Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit.

·         Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks.

·         Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation.

·         Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit.

·         Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not.1

1-Text was borrowed with permission from

B.        Unauthorized Collaboration

In the American educational system, the concept of original work is a fundamental tenet of scholarship. In recent years, more educators have also recognized the value of having students work on some assignments in groups. Students, however, may be engaging in scholastic dishonesty if they fail to distinguish between collaboration that is authorized for a particular assignment and collaboration that is done for the sake of expediency. Some students rationalize their involvement in unauthorized collaboration on the basis that it "helps them learn better" and is not cheating because they are contributing to the final product. Indeed, many educators believe that group assignments enhance some forms of learning. However, the purpose of a particular assignment and the acceptable method of completing it are to be determined by the instructor, not the student.

Unauthorized collaboration with another person on an assignment offered for academic credit is a common form of scholastic dishonesty. Such assignments may include, but are not limited to, lab reports, computer programming assignments, papers, homework, or tests (take-home or in-class). This violation also includes allowing another person to view your work drafted or completed without the necessary authorization. Unauthorized collaboration can even occur within the context of group projects when the degree or type of collaboration exceeds the parameters of what has been expressly authorized.


Unless working together on an assignment has been specifically approved, it is not allowed. The extent of collaboration permitted may vary widely from one class to the next or even from one project to the next within the same class. Do not assume that working together is allowed. Always ask your instructor what his or her expectations are in this regard. While the course requirements in some classes at the University may consist primarily of group assignments, the norm in most classes is that each student is expected to do his or her own work individually. You should assume that you are to perform all assignments independently unless you have specific permission to work together on an assignment.

Borrowed from the University of Texas

C.        Plagiarism

Plagiarism is an extremely serious violation of academic integrity.  The Student Code of Conduct defines plagiarism as:

1.       Submitting another's published or unpublished work, in whole, in part, or in paraphrase, as one's own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, citations, or bibliographical reference.

2.       Submitting as one's own, original work, material obtained from an individual or agency without reference to the person or agency as the source of material.

3.       Submitting as one's own, original work, material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators.

Plagiarism can occur in myriad of forms and media. Although most commonly associated with writing, all types of scholarly work, including computer code, music, scientific data and analysis, and electronic publications can be plagiarized. The aim of this section is to help students and faculty deal with the complex and important issue of plagiarism on campus.

A Question of Intent?

Plagiarism, strictly speaking, is not a question of intent.  Any use of the content or style of another's intellectual product without proper attribution constitutes plagiarism. However, students plagiarize for a variety of reasons, and awareness of these reasons is essential for understanding the problem of plagiarism.

Some students choose to plagiarize. Whether claiming to be overworked, compensating for their own perceived academic or language deficiencies, or simply hoping to gain an academic advantage, those who choose to claim credit for another's work are guilty of plagiarism. Those who intentionally plagiarize "borrow" either from published sources, such as books, journal articles, or electronic information, or from unpublished sources, such as a friend's paper or a commercial writing service. Whatever the source, such conduct is a direct and serious violation of accepted standards of academic integrity.

Others, however, stumble into plagiarism. Negligent plagiarism can result from ineffective proofreading, sloppy notetaking, or, most commonly, simple ignorance about the nature of plagiarism itself. Such inadvertent plagiarism, while not an excuse for what is still a serious breach of academic standards, is a more complex area of academic conduct than straightforward copying. Addressing the issue of negligent plagiarism requires a careful examination of both the definition of plagiarism and the appropriate techniques for scholarly attribution.

What is Plagiarism?

Nearly everyone understands that copying passages verbatim from another writer's work and representing them as one's own work constitute plagiarism. Yet plagiarism involves much more.  Plagiarism includes any use of another's work and submitting that work as one's own. This means not only copying passages of writing or direct quotations but also paraphrasing or using structure or ideas without citation. Learning how to paraphrase and when and how to cite can be difficult, yet it is an essential step in maintaining academic integrity.


Like a direct quotation, a paraphrase is the use of another's ideas to enhance one's own work. For this reason, a paraphrase, just like a quotation, must be cited. In a paraphrase, however, the author rewrites in his or her own words the ideas taken from the source. Therefore, a paraphrase is not set within quotation marks. So, while the ideas may be borrowed, the borrower's writing must be entirely original; merely changing a few words or rearranging words or sentences is not paraphrasing. Even if properly cited, a paraphrase that is too similar to the writing of the original is plagiarized.

Good writers often signal paraphrases through clauses such as "Werner Sollors, in Beyond Ethnicity, argues that..." Such constructions avoid excessive reliance on quotations, which can clog writing, and demonstrate that the writer has thoroughly digested the source author's argument. A full citation, of course, is still required. When done properly, a paraphrase is usually much more concise than the original and always has a different sentence structure and word choice. Yet no matter how different from the original, a paraphrase must always be cited, because its content is not original to the author of the paraphrase.


The following are examples, with explanations, of the wrong and right ways to paraphrase.

The Wrong Way to Paraphrase #1

·         Original Passage: "[J]ust before 1914 most religious leaders genuinely opposed war and few saw reasons to partake in a remote struggle in Europe. For decades a spirit of progressive optimism had moved many of the more powerful leaders, who saw no point in settling human differences with anything so destructive as war. Yet when it came, they closed ranks and generated an ideology to support it. The majority suspected innocents for presumed lack of patriotism and punished dissenters. For a brief moment they also found that the specter and cause of war united them as no spiritual impulse of their own ever could."

·         Source: Martin E. Marty, Pilgrims in Their Own Land: 500 Years of Religion in America (Boston: Little, Brown, 1984), 355.

·         Paraphrase: Although initially skeptical, many religious leaders soon embraced America's involvement in the First World War, and even discovered that it (and the xenophobia surrounding it) bolstered their sense of solidarity more effectively than purely religious motivations had.

·         Explanation: This paraphrase, while an accurate summary of the above passage, is nevertheless plagiarized, because it contains no citation of the passage from which its main ideas are obviously derived.

The Wrong Way to Paraphrase #2

·         Original Passage: "To the young American architects who made the pilgrimage, the most dazzling figure of all was Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus School. Gropius opened the Bauhaus in Weimar, the German capital, in 1919. It was more than a school; it was a commune, a spiritual movement, a radical approach to art in all its forms, a philosophical center comparable to the Garden of Epicurus."

·         Source: Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1981), 10.

·         Paraphrase: As Tom Wolfe notes, to young American architects who went to Germany, the most dazzling figure was Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus School. 1 Gropius opened the Bauhaus in the German capital of Weimar in 1919. It was, however, more than a school, it was a commune, a spiritual movement, a philosophical center like the Garden of Epicurus.

·         1. Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1981), 10.

·         Explanation: While the author of this intended paraphrase mentions the source and gives a full citation in a footnote, this excerpt is nevertheless plagiarized, because it is in fact not a paraphrase at all but a nearly verbatim reproduction of the source. It is too similar to the original. Rather than concisely summarizing the ideas, it uses the phrasing and structure of the original.

The Right Way to Paraphrase

·         Original Passage: "The Republican Convention of 1860, which adopted planks calling for a tariff, internal improvements, a Pacific railroad and a homestead law, is sometimes seen as a symbol of Whig triumph within the party. A closer look, however, indicates that the Whig's triumph within the party was of a very tentative nature."

·         Source: Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), 175.

·         Paraphrase: Contrary to many historians, Eric Foner argues that the Republican platform of 1860 should not be understood as an indication of Whig dominance of the party. 1

·         Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), 175.

·         Explanation: This paraphrase is properly cited and represents an accurate and concise summary of the source.

Borrowed from the University of Texas

D.        Notetaking and Proofreading

Notetaking and Proofreading

Good paraphrasing skills allow a writer to make use of source material in a fluid and honest way. However, proper notetaking and careful proofreading, which come before and after the writing, can be just as important for producing high-quality and accurately-attributed scholarship. When taking notes, do not copy directly from a source into your notes unless you intend to quote that source directly. Rather, read carefully, take time to think, and then write down, in your own words, the main ideas of what you have read. Of course, be sure to note the source for proper citation. These notes will then become the basis of your summary. Skipping the notetaking step and paraphrasing directly from a source into a draft of your work not only limits your ability to think through the ideas for yourself but also increases the likelihood that you will commit negligent plagiarism. Use notetaking as an opportunity to develop and organize your own ideas.

Proofreading, like notetaking, is a vital step in the writing process, one that students too often skip. Proofreading offers the opportunity to check your work for errors of spelling and punctuation as well as overall fluidity of style and coherence of argument. It is also the time to verify all references and citations. Do not, however, wait until proofreading to include citations. Citations should be included in the first draft. It is simply too easy to omit a reference accidentally and then forget the source of a fact, quotation, or paraphrase.

Whose idea is it, anyway?

One of the most complicated aspects of source citation is learning how to distinguish "borrowed ideas," which must be cited, from "common knowledge," which does not need to be cited. A simple guideline is that well-known or easily accessible facts, such as the winner of the 1908 World Series, or commonplace observations, such as Einstein's prominence in modern physics, need not be cited. Unique ideas, controversial or especially important facts, and novel insights all must be cited (although other items may need to be cited which meet none of these criteria). This is a judgment that often depends on the writer and his or her academic community. What the audience of an academic journal considers common knowledge may not be seen the same way in a freshman composition course.

To be safe, be attentive to where you encountered a particular idea. Just as with paraphrasing, good notetaking is invaluable for tracking the origin of ideas. And of course, the best advice remains: when in doubt, cite. Consult your instructor if you need help clarifying this issue.


·         Original Passage: "With voice vote elections, and with participation limited to the more stable elements of the population, rich men won elections. Rochester's fifty wealthiest taxpayers, along with their relatives and business associates, accounted for 61 percent of the trustees elected between 1817 and 1825."

·         Source: Paul Johnson, A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), 61 .

·         Paraphrase: The wealthy dominated Rochester politics in the 1810s and 1820s. In fact, of the trustees elected from 1817-1825, fully 61 percent came from the fifty richest men and their families and friends.

·         Paul Johnson, A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), 61.

·         Explanation: This passage must be cited, because the author has used specific information not readily available elsewhere.

Borrowed from the University of Texas

E.         Helpful Links

·         University of Cincinnati Libraries


·         University of Cincinnati Libraries




·         How to Cite Sources in a Paper


·         Center for Academic Integrity



A.        Tips to Prevent Plagiarism

·         Take plagiarism seriously.  A June 2005 study by the Center for Academic Integrity found that:

·         Approximately 70% of students admitted to some cheating;

·         Almost 25% of students admitted to serious test cheating in the past year; and

·         About 50% of students admitted to one or more instances of cheating on written assignments.


·         Include the Student Code of Conduct policy on Academic Integrity in your syllabi.

·         Discuss academic misconduct and plagiarism with your students.

·         Review the possible disciplinary actions that can occur if a student commits academic misconduct.

·         Inform students that they will receive and automatic F for the course or assignment if they have committed academic misconduct.

·         Provide examples of how easily plagiarism can occur.

·         Inform students that academic misconduct can occur even if the student did not intend to commit academic misconduct.

·         Inform students that electronic software or tracking software will be used for submitted work.

·         Create new assignments each quarter.

·         Require student to complete outlines, preliminary bibliographies, and drafts of projects or papers, so they will not be waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment.

·         Put a phrase from a student’s paper into the search engine in order to determine if the paper improperly uses language that has been published.

·         Make sure to enclose in quotation marks the phrase you are searching.

B.        What to do if you suspect  or discover that a student has cheated 

If you suspect or discover that a student has cheated:

·         Report the alleged violation to the College Conduct Administrator  for your college. 

·         If you are unsure of the process for dealing with academic misconduct. Contact the College Conduct Administrator  for your college or the Office of University Judicial Affairs at 556-6814.

·         The Student Code of Conduct Procedure can be found here.