What Is Academic Fraud?

All students at the University of Virginia are bound by the Honor Code not to commit Academic Fraud, which is a form of cheating. The following is meant to raise awareness among students as to what academic fraud is and how to avoid it. Academic fraud includes:

  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism is using someone else’s ideas or work without proper or complete acknowledgment. Plagiarism encompasses many things, and is by far the most common manifestation of academic fraud. For example, copying a passage straight from a book into a paper without quoting or explicitly citing the source is blatant plagiarism. In addition, completely rewording someone else’s work or ideas and using it as one’s own is also plagiarism. It is very important that students properly acknowledge all ideas, work and even distinctive wording that are not their own. However, certain information in any discipline is considered “common knowledge” and may be used without acknowledgment. What is considered to be common knowledge varies among fields, when in doubt consult a professor or TA. Students unsure of how to properly acknowledge a source are encouraged to consult an RA, TA, professor or manual of style. Frequently used style manuals include The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White, the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, published by the Modern Language Association; The Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago; and A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, by Kate L. Turabian.
  • Multiple Submission: Multiple submission is the use of work previously submitted at this or any other institution to fulfill academic requirements in another class. For example, using a paper from a 12th grade English class for an ENWR 101 assignment is academic fraud. Slightly altered work that has been resubmitted is also considered to be fraudulent. With prior permission, some professors may allow students to complete one assignment for two classes. In this case prior permission from both instructors is absolutely necessary.
  • False Citation: False citation is falsely citing a source or attributing work to a source from which the referenced material was not obtained. A simple example of this would be footnoting a paragraph and citing a work that was never utilized.
  • False Data: False data is the fabrication or alteration of data to deliberately mislead. For example, changing data to get better experiment results is academic fraud. Professors and TAs in lab classes will often have strict guidelines for completion of labs and assignments. Whenever in doubt about what may be considered academic fraud immediately consult with the professor.
  • Internet Resources: : Internet Resources are quickly becoming popular materials used in academic research. As more and more people gain access to computer technology, the number of web sites devoted to academic pursuits is increasing dramatically. Many of these web sites provide reliable information; however, others may not include well-documented research. If you rely on Internet resources for your research, please be sure to use the proper citation. You may consult the style guides mentioned above or follow the links below for information regarding proper citation of on-line sources.
    MLA Style published by the Modern Language Association
    Chicago Manual Style from the Chicago Manual of Style Online
    APA Style by the American Psychological Association

Students at the University are responsible for knowing what is considered to be Academic Fraud. For further information and examples consult the Academic Fraud and the Honor System Pamphlet available in the Honor Offices on the fourth floor of Newcomb Hall. If you ever have a question or concern about Academic Fraud and Honor, contact your Honor Committee representative or an Honor Advisor at 924-7602.