Academic Integrity 101

What does academic integrity look like?

We all know that academic integrity means not cheating, plagiarizing or engaging in other forms of academic dishonesty. So we know what it’s not, but what is it? 

According to Dr. Bill Taylor, academic integrity involves a system of interconnected rights and responsibilities. Our ability to succeed as students, as teachers and as an institution, depends on each one of us exercising our rights and living up to our responsibilities. Dr. Taylor acknowledges that the failure of any of us to do what is required to uphold academic integrity diminishes the opportunity for the rest of us to achieve our goals. 

Academic Integrity is not a passive thing; academic integrity is a practice that requires action:

  • Preparation: It requires that students, teachers and TAs all come to class prepared to participate as needed by their role.
  • In Class: It requires that teachers, TAs and students take each other seriously and treat each other with respect, including showing up on time, participating and showing enthusiasm for the topic, making an effort to share what they know and learn what they don’t know.
  • Exams: It requires that instructors ensure an even playing field during exams and that students write on their own.
  • Assignments: It requires that instructors devise meaningful assignments to assess student work fairly and students make an honest effort to learn through those assignments, to work alone when required or together when required, and to cite all sources used. 

It requires that in all areas, students and instructors live up to their responsibilities to each other, the institution, and themselves, and to hold each other accountable when they do not.


Bill Taylor’s Original Letter to his Students
International Center for Academic Integrity Fundamental Values Project
Academic Integrity Quiz – how much do you know?