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Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

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For a very long time institutions have tried to maintain the attribute of students reasoning independently and have their own inform judgements. This independent reasoning enables students to evaluate opinions, make a decision, and make a critical reflection on the justification for the decisions made. Integrity is one of the virtues students should adhere to in their day-to-day writing. Academic integrity, as a scholar is the honesty and responsibility of obeying the rules of academic writing, which comes out, from individual efforts and strength. The core importance of this academic integrity is to affirm the importance of studying and the mystery of a given subject matter in a given discipline. It also gives an institution an excellent reputation for the degrees conferred by the institution.

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Five fundamental values govern academic integrity. This includes:

Respect - learning being a participatory process, a wide range of ideas and opinions should be respected.

Honesty - this is the need for truth, it require by an intellectual person in learning, research, teaching and service.

Responsibility - a demand for accountability on the members of the community and it depend upon the action in the face of wrongdoing. 

Trust - in order to stimulate the free exchange of ideas, an academic institution, should encourage and build an environment of mutual trust.

Fairness - Either any interactions made by the students, administration or faculty in an institution should have the basis of clear standards, practises, and procedures.

In upholding this academic integrity in writing, a writer has to be honest enough when submitting the academic work for assessment. This can be attained by a total acknowledgement of any idea or assistance gotten from other people. Also, making clearly which parts are based on somebody’s work by fully referencing the sources of those parts.

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On the other hand, plagiarism is the act of misrepresenting another person’s work, ideas, interpretations or any creative work as your own original work. It involves paraphrasing, copying, and summarizing someone work without giving a credit.there are various types of plagiarism. This includes:

Direct plagiarism - it involves a word-to-word transcription of some part of someone work. This kind of plagiarism is deliberate and is so unethical, a way of academic dishonesty and gives ground to disciplinary actions to the individual.

Self plagiarism- this is a situation, where a student presents his previous work or makes a counter mix of many previous works without any permission from the professor. This also includes presenting a common work to different classes without the permission of a professor.

Mosaic plagiarism- occurs when a student takes phases from another source without the use of quotation marks or changing the author’s language to change the sentence structure and the meaning from the original words. It is sometimes called pitch writing.

Accidental plagiarism- this happens when an individual forgets to cite the sources, unintentional paraphrases, or misquote the sources by use of similar words without attribution.

Ways of avoiding plagiarism

Firstly, the way of avoiding plagiarism is using your own words on sentence structure when paraphrasing. The paraphrased sentence should capture the idea from the source but should not be a duplication of the writer’s words (Lathrop & Foss, 2005). The identification of the words taken from a writer’s work should also be enclosed by use of quotation marks. In the case of use of charts, visual images, or graphs from printed or electronic sources, documentation should be provided.

Another aspect is to include all the sources cited in the paper by writing it on the work cited list or the referencing page at the end of work on discussion. Clear attributes of any outside source should also be provided by use of signal phrases or lead-in in the introduction information from sources.

Violation of the academic integrity values and practice of plagiarism is punishable which can even result to expulsion in the case of students. Exceptional high standards of integrity and honour should be practiced in all fields of studies.

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