Academic Integrity

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Student resources

Over the course of your academic journey here at Arizona State University, you will be challenged to continually build upon your skills and academic abilities. At times, pressure and stress can arise from balancing busy schedules, academic commitments, and personal commitments. In these moments of adversity, it’s important that you make ethical decisions and uphold a high standard of integrity for you and for others.

Behaviors and actions

What does Sun Devil Integrity look like?

To see the behaviors and actions of Sun Devil Integrity, view the infographic below or PDF icon download the PDF.

Sun Devil Integrity infographic: engages in learning, studies diligently, completes tasks, encourages others, takes notes, cites sources, reports cheating, avoids cheating, works in advance, and respects ASU Honor Code.

Academic Integrity at ASU Tutorial

The Academic Integrity at ASU tutorial also will walk you through the importance of academic integrity. Upon completion of the tutorial you will be able to:

  • Describe the five types of academic integrity
  • Identify the do's and don'ts of academic integrity at ASU
  • Recognize the consequences of academic dishonesty


Strategies for how to complete your work with integrity

Be informed: Understand ASU’s expectations regarding academic integrity by understanding the Academic Integrity Policy and Student Code of Conduct.

Ask questions: If you are not sure if something is really cheating, ask your professors, T.A.s, academic integrity officers, or academic advisors.

Seek tutoring: Ask your professors and others in your department for help in finding academic support. Help is available from the following sources:

Stay healthy: Checkout the Live Well at ASU webpages to obtain information, resources and involvement opportunities found in each element are designed to positively impact you academic performance, personal well-being and assist you in reaching your full potential.

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism may be the most common form of academic dishonesty and is often unintentional. Protect yourself by understanding how to avoid plagiarism at Arizona State University using the following resources.

What is Plagiarism?

Defining plagiarism
Acts of plagiarism can be glaringly obvious or very subtle. Understanding plagiarism, with all of its intricacies and nuances, provides a foundation of knowledge one can use to make sound decisions and avoid getting caught up in a plagiarism scandal—whether intentional or unintentional.

Document sources appropriately
Lapses in one's technique for paraphrasing ideas, quoting information or citing sources can make way for accusations of plagiarism. Make it a point to learn how to integrate the ideas of others and to document the sources of “borrowed” information appropriately. View citation styles.

Avoiding unintentional plagiarism
Keeping track of the deluge of notes and source material can become a mind-boggling undertaking, and mistakes can lead to unintentional plagiarism. Learn about web-based citation management tools at ASU Library's Citation Management Tools library guide.


Quoting words or borrowing ideas without reference to the author is a problem, even if you happen to be the author.

Same story – different outlets
You cannot:

  • submit the same paper for different classes.
  • use sections of your previous work for a comp exam answer.
  • expand on your master’s thesis for your dissertation.
  • submit the same research article to different journals.

Learn more about the complicated issue of self-plagiarism. Talk to your Academic Integrity Officer about what this means for you.

Recycling is not always good
Not when it comes to your own words. Many researchers use the same literature, research methods or analyses across studies and find it time consuming to write new versions of these sections. Yet blind journal reviewers or electronic cross-checking may indicate you are plagiarizing. Take the time to rephrase and remember you need to cite yourself.

Avoid salami-slicing
Or publishing multiple studies from the same data set. You may need to reduce a complex set of distinct hypotheses into separate papers. If so, let the readers know you did this. If the slices can be combined to make a whole, then it is better to go with the whole salami. To learn more about the nuances of “salami-slicing” in your discipline just pop this term into Google scholar and it will open your eyes.

Self-plagiarism resources

  1. Bretag, T. & Mahmud, S. (2009). Self-Plagiarism or Appropriate Textual Re-use? Journal of Academic Ethics, 7:193–205
  2. Scanlon, P. M. (2007). Song From Myself: An Anatomy of Self-Plagiarism. vol. II. Ann Arbor, MI: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library retrieved July 2010

Plagiarism tutorial

Take the Plagiarism Awareness: Don’t Stumble Into it Accidentally! tutorial. Upon completion of the tutorial you will be able to:

  • Define and recognize plagiarism.
  • Explain the importance of citation in the scholarly environment.
  • Demonstrated strategies to avoid unintentional plagiarism.
  • Recognize and explain the consequences of plagiarism.

Resources for citations

Visit the ASU Library citation styles webpage as a reference for citing resources appropriately using APA, MLA, Chicago, or other citation-style guidelines. The site also offers exercises to help you practice the appropriate use of citations.

Contract cheating

Definition of contract cheating

Contract cheating is a type of academic dishonesty where a student asks another person to complete all or part of their work for them. The student may ask someone they know to write a paper for them, as a favor, or they may pay someone to do it. Regardless of whether money changes hands or not, presenting someone else’s work as your own is always cheating.

What are some of the ways contract cheating negatively impacts you and the ASU community?

There are numerous ways in which contract cheating negatively impacts you, your fellow students, and the ASU community. Here are a few:

  • You do not acquire any of the knowledge that your instructor intended for you to learn when you have someone else do your work. By doing so, you are taking away your opportunity to grow as a student and professional contract cheating is a very serious academic integrity violation which could result in suspension or expulsion permanently from the University.
  • Students who complete their work on their own are disadvantaged by students who are cheating.
  • When you ask someone to do work for you, you are asking them to cheat on your behalf. Your request for their help will lead to negative consequences for them as well.

What are some things I can do if I am overwhelmed and notice that I am becoming tempted by contract cheating?

Part of the learning process as a college student is to work your way through challenging times in an honest and ethical manner. Spending time prioritizing your assignments and engaging in good time management practices is ideal. However, you may still experience times where you feel overwhelmed by multiple deadlines and projects.

There are resources to support you:

Remember, it is better to do poorly on an assignment or even fail an examination than it would be to commit an academic integrity violation. The skills you develop working through challenging situations, enhances your resiliency and makes you an even more effective college graduate.