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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. Aim for consistent, conventional citation format and scrupulous accuracy in your references or works cited lists. Your careful attention to these details will make you and your work look good because your citations will

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

    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 that plagiarism is unacceptable behavior.

Online Resources for Avoiding Plagiarism

     On this Web site, the Department-by-Department Reference Guide provides information about the citation formats preferred in different disciplines, and the Citation Formats section offers guidance for following those conventions accurately.

     For additional help with determining what kinds of materials must be cited and with finding smooth ways to quote and paraphrase from sources, consult your textbooks from your writing classes and try the following resources:

If you have any doubt about whether you need to cite a source for a particular idea, fact, or point,

check with your professor.


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Page Last Modified: July 7, 2011

  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