16 Discuss Issues of Academic Honesty (Cheating and Plagiarism)

Understanding Academic Honesty

Statement on Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is the principle that forms the foundation for scholarship and intellectual ownership. Kwantlen Polytechnic University expects all students to uphold this principle and considers any act of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, as a serious educational offence.

All students attending post-secondary institutions must clearly and fully understand what constitutes an act of academic dishonesty. The following information is provided to specifically help students understand the university’s position on cheating and plagiarism.


Cheating, which includes plagiarism, occurs where a student or group of students uses or attempts to use unauthorized aids, assistance, materials or methods.

Plagiarism occurs where a student represents the work or ideas of another person as his or her own.

Examples of Cheating and Plagiarism

Students will be subject to disciplinary action for acts including, but not limited to:


  • Providing information to another student or obtaining it from an unauthorized person during an examination.
  • Unauthorized use of materials, such as mechanical devices, textbooks, notes, formula lists, etc., during an examination.
  • Storing answers in a calculator to be used by one’s self or allowing it to be used by another student during an examination.
  • Impersonating another student in an examination or being the student impersonated by another.
  • Possession of an unadministered examination.
  • Providing any part of an administered or unadministered examination, including the answer key, to another student.
  • Submitting an assignment as one’s own work where answers have been copied from the answer key.
  • Submitting a take home examination or an assignment as your own when completed in whole or in part by another person.
  • Submitting the same assignment to be graded in more than one course without prior permission of the instructor(s).
  • Submitting an assignment that has been co-authored without prior permission of the instructor.
  • Submitting an assignment that you know contains false information.
  • Listing a source in the bibliography/reference list that was not cited in the assignment.
  • Tampering with another student’s assignment for the purpose of gaining an academic advantage over another student.
  • Deliberately blocking access to library resources, specialty equipment, computer hardware/software, etc., for the purpose of obstructing the progress of another student’s work.


  • Borrowing the ideas, theories, illustrations, lab data, or language of others, in whole or in part, without properly quoting and citing the source within the text of the paper.
  • Substantially paraphrasing without acknowledging the source, even though you have used your own words.
  • Combining your words with substantial phrases from a source that is either not cited or under cited.
  • Using synonyms to change words within a phrase or sentence derived from another source and then treating the phrase or sentence as if it was your own.
  • Failing to cite the correct source of a quotation.
  • Submitting an assignment that does not acknowledge the contribution of co-authors where such acknowledgement would be appropriate.
  • Submitting an assignment, in whole or in part, that was previously graded in another course, whether or not the other course was taught at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Note: The term examination includes tests and other assessment tools that measure acquired knowledge or skills. The term assignment refers to any graded activity that forms part of the course requirements.

Working with a Study Partner or Group

Collaborative learning is an essential component in the learning process and students are encouraged to study with a partner or a group. This in itself does not constitute plagiarism or cheating. However, be certain that the work you turn in is your own and that you completely understand it. Do not provide information to another student so that they can use it without understanding it.

If your instructor specifies that an assignment is to be completed independently then working with a partner or group would constitute an act of academic dishonesty. The exception to this would be where a student has a diagnosed disability requiring accommodation through academic support.

Disciplinary Action

If it is determined that a student committed an act of academic dishonesty, the university will proceed with disciplinary action in the following manner:

  • for most first offences, a grade of zero will be awarded for the affected assignment, test, paper, analysis, etc.;
  • for most second offences, a failing grade will be assigned in the affected course;
  • depending upon the circumstances surrounding a first or second offence, a more severe level of discipline may be imposed by the university;
  • where deemed appropriate in the circumstances, for any third offence, the matter will be referred to the vice president, academic for the assignment of discipline which may include, but is not limited to, suspension or expulsion from the university.

Note: Any student who contributes to an act of academic dishonesty by another student may face disciplinary action.

Avoiding Academic Dishonesty

Follow all instructions provided to you by your instructor. Do not make any assumption about what might be acceptable (e.g. the use of a thesaurus, dictionary, calculator, Cole’s Notes, etc.) – ask your instructor.

Reference the words taken directly from another source or paraphrased using appropriate footnotes, endnotes, or reference list. Use the Style Guide recommended by your instructor when citing sources and double check the citation to ensure its accuracy.

Speak directly with your instructor if you are in doubt about what or how to cite a source, particularly if you are unsure as to what constitutes general knowledge.

Take careful notes to summarize your readings and list quotations that you may use to support a particular position.

Ensure that your instructor has granted approval to submit an assignment as a group before commencing any work with other students.

Once you have completed an assignment, it is advisable not to loan or provide a copy of it to another student, even if you have received a final grade for the course. If your work is plagiarized you may be implicated in the act of academic dishonesty.

When taking an examination, do not place your answers where they can be readily viewed by others and avoid looking in the direction of another student’s exam paper.

Keep a copy of your work, including all notes and drafts, until you have received a final grade for the course.

Available Resources

  1. For clarification on any aspect of academic honesty, consult with your instructor.
  2. To register for seminars on term papers, note taking, and effective reading, contact the Learning Centre on your campus.
  3. Faculty, staff, and student tutors at the Learning Centres are available to provide assistance to students with issues of academic honesty.
  4. Use one of the following Style Guides unless otherwise specified by your instructor(s):
    • American Psychological Association (APA)
    • College Style Sheet *
    • Modern Language Association (MLA) *
  1. Citation Style Guideposts for APA and MLA are available at each campus library. These guides help explain and demonstrate the need for correctly referencing the words and ideas of others. See all the information at: http://libguides.kpu.ca/citations
  2. Any student accused of an act of academic dishonesty has the right at any time to consult with a university Counsellor and/or the Student Ombudsperson.

* Available at all campus libraries, bookstores and in the Learning Centre

Related Policies

For more information about Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Bylaws & Policies, students are encouraged to visit http://www.kpu.ca/policies. The following are policies related to understanding academic honesty:

ST2 Student Academic Integrity / Procedures

ST7 Student Conduct (Non-Academic) / Procedures

IM3 Information and Educational Technology Usage / Procedures

Retrieved from: http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/downloads/Honesty1432.pdf

More information available at: https://calendar.kpu.ca/academic-regulations/

Refer to the Ethical scenarios in both Level I and Level II workbooks. Pick one or two that ring true for you in your experience with Academic Honesty. Write a paragraph on what the issue is for you and how you think your should approach that sort of situation. Use this as one of your journal entries.


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Level Two Peer Tutoring Fundamentals and Integration Workbook Copyright © 2019 by Kwantlen Polytechnic University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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