Academic Honesty and Integrity

Why Do Students Cheat?


Academic misconduct stems not just from dishonesty but from simple ignorance of the scholarly dos and dont’s as well.

Students May Cheat Intentionally Due To:

  • poor time management (the most likely reason)
  • having a poor grasp of the material
  • feeling the class is not relevant
  • thinking they won’t be held accountable
  • stress inside or outside the classroom

It is inaccurate to assume that it is only the poorer performing students who cheat. In fact, those who cheat are often highly motivated students who find themselves in a bind.

Avoiding Plagiarism

If students carefully mark their notes to distinguish which of them are their own ideas—formulated while reading—and which are summaries, paraphrases, or exact quotes from the assigned reading material, they will have an easier time avoiding plagiarism when preparing their final drafts.

Unintentional Plagiarism Is Frequently the Result of:

  • misunderstanding when and how to cite, or
  • sloppy note taking when researching their topic.

Students, especially freshman and international students, will generally need help understanding the difference between generic Web searching and academic research, as well as what differentiates common knowledge from copyright protected intellectual property.