Academic Honesty at Champlain College

Because Champlain College is committed to the value of Academic Honesty, here is a brief overview of what it means to ethically create assignments and write with integrity.

What is Academic Honesty/Integrity?

In a broad sense, “academic integrity” means that people demonstrate respect for one another’s knowledge and ideas by both giving and receiving credit for that work. When proper credit is not documented, students are at risk of being reported for a violation of the college’s Academic Honesty Policy.

Academic honesty violations include (but are not limited to):

  • plagiarism (i.e., intentionally or unintentionally insufficiently acknowledging outside sources)
  • cheating (i.e., copying another student’s work, creating sources that don’t exist)
  • misrepresentation (ex., falsifying information, re-submitting an assignment in one course that had previously been used in another course without permission of the instructor).
  • submitting your work to a “crowd-sourced” site that implicitly or explicitly exists to facilitate plagiarism.

Why Is Academic Integrity Important?

When you accepted Champlain College’s offer to be an online student here, you essentially said “yes” to becoming an integral participant in conversations with others (Graff & Birkenstein, 2014, p. xvi)–with other students, with authors whose work you are reading and responding to, with instructors, and your academic advisors. Your, and others, thoughts and ideas contribute to a robust learning community where your ideas are not only welcomed, but expected. Participating in online discussions, writing assignments, and creating projects are various ways in which you contribute to our learning community. Think of your education not as something that is separate from and outside of you, but as something in which you are a participant — a co-creator of knowledge. Your instructors are interested in what you think and have to say in response to others, whether those “others” are your classmates or published authors. 

Whether you are writing a paper, participating in a class discussion, or asking your instructor a question, you are responding to the thoughts and ideas of others–engaging in conversation (Graff & Birkenstein, 2014, p. xvi). When you are working with others’ ideas directly, it is critical that you know when and how to attribute credit to others’ ideas properly so that you can avoid unintentionally violating the academic honesty policy.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is probably the most common form of academic dishonesty and is often misunderstood. It includes using someone else’s work in your own academic work without giving proper credit.

  • Intentional plagiarism includes using images and cutting and pasting blocks of text without documenting the original source.
  • Unintentional plagiarism includes quoting excessively, documenting sources improperly, and paraphrasing carelessly.

What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing means putting the information, ideas, and/or thoughts of others into your own words. Paraphrasing is about communicating your understanding of what you read and what you took away from your reading. Purdue University Online Writing Lab defines paraphrasing as “your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form” (Purdue University). 

What does it mean to “cite” sources?

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize ideas that are not your own, you must both identify the sources of the ideas and the quotations within the body of your paper (“in-text citations”) and at the end.

  • In the body of your paper, you must identify the source of the idea or quotation. In-text citations can be in parenthesis or numbered footnotes, depending on the style you are using (i.e. APA, MLA). Use one or the other.
  • At the end of your paper, you must list all of the sources from the parenthetical references. Depending on the style you are using, that page is called “Works Cited,” “Bibliography,” or “References.”

Where can I learn more?

Please review your Introduction to Academic Honesty course to learn more about creating assignments with integrity and avoiding Academic Honesty Policy violations. Upon completion, an earned “badge” will display on your Canvas profile and will function as evidence that you have read and understand Champlain College’s Academic Honesty Policy. The course can be completed in under two hours and will be a future resource for you.


Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2014). They say/I say: The moves that matter in academic writing. New York: Norton.