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Academic Honesty Requires that You Document All Your Sources


Academic Honesty Means
Avoiding Plagiarism

What Is Academic Honesty?              What Is Plagiarism?

Accurate Citations                            Online Resources

Marquette University Statement on Academic Dishonesty

A Clear Definition of Academic Honesty


     At the beginning of his book Doing Honest Work in College, author Charles Lipson says that “academic honesty boils down to three simple but powerful principles” and lists them as follows:

  • “When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it.
  • “When you rely on someone else’s work, you cite it. When you use their words, you quote them openly and accurately, and you cite them, too.
  • “When you present research materials, you present them fairly and truthfully. That’s true whether the research involves data, documents, or the writings of other scholars.”

—U of Chicago Press, 2004, p. 3.

Accurate Citations are a Matter of Justice:

They Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

     You do not need to document common knowledge or your own thinking, but you do need to include a citation for quotations, paraphrases, statistics, and other people’s ideas.

     It is important to provide full, accurate information about the author, date, and publisher (or Web sponsor) of your research sources. Consistent, conventional citation format and scrupulous accuracy in your references or works cited lists will

  • Demonstrate the reliability and authority of your evidence
  • Help your readers find your source materials if they want to
  • Tell your readers about the quality of your sources
  • Make you and your work look good

     The Departmental Reference Guide on this Web site provides information about the citation conventions preferred in different disciplines, and the Citation Formats section offers guidance for following those conventions accurately.

    Careful, accurate citations also insure you against plagiarism. This term, which comes from the Latin word for "kidnapping," is defined as presenting another person's ideas as your own. The Marquette University ethos statement of principles of student conduct specifies plagiarism as unacceptable behavior.

Resources for Deciding What to Cite

     For additional help with determining what kinds of materials must be cited and with quoting and paraphrasing from sources, consult your textbooks from your First-Year English classes, the Writers’ Handbook at the University of Wisconsin Writing Center Web site, the advice about Paraphrasing and Avoiding Plagiarism at the Purdue University Online Writing Center, or the Plagiarism page at the Washington State University Libraries.

If you have any doubt about whether you need to cite a source for a particular idea, fact, or point in your paper,
check with your professor.

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Page Last Modified: January 13, 2016

  For suggestions and corrections, please email
Dr. Rebecca Nowacek, Associate Professor of English
Director of the Ott Memorial Writing Center, 240 Raynor Library (414.288.5542)
© 2005 Marquette University.
P.O. Box 1881 · Milwaukee, Wis. USA · 53201-1881