Myths and Misconceptions

There are countless misconceptions about academic integrity. Below are some of the most common. Remember, ignorance of the rules is not an excuse for breaking them. Being informed is the best weapon against violating the Code of Academic Ethics. If you're unsure of something, ask your professor. 

Common Myths and Misconceptions

 You only need to cite, paraphrase and use workcited pages for RHET or ECLT courses.

oFalse. You are responsible to uphold academicintegrity in all courses and subjects of academia.


       Unintentional plagiarism is not serious.

oFalse. Even if acts of academic dishonesty arenot intentional, you are still guilty of violations of the Code of AcademicEthics.

§A tip to remember: If you want to be right,always cite.

§Please visit this list of resources to helpavoid academic integrity violations. 

·It’s only plagiarism if it’s more than a certainpercent similarity via

oFalse. Any amount of plagiarism is unethical andin violation of AUC’s Code of Academic Ethics.

oYou can fail any course for any violation of theCode of Academic Ethics, no matter how serious or minor you perceive theviolation.


Photos, graphs, and visual aids do not need tobe cited.

oFalse. All information that is not commonknowledge or your own ideas must be cited.


      There is no such thing as self-plagiarism.

oFalse. Work submitted in one class cannot besubmitted to a subsequent class, in part or whole, without the expressedpermission of the professor. In cases where even parts of an assignment arerepeated, these sections need to be cited the same as any other source.


You will not be held accountable for the work ofothers in a group assignment.

oFalse. Group work reenforces the idea of teamwork,and just as a group shares the successes, so too do they share in the failures.If a member plagiarizes or commits other unethical violations, the entire groupwill be held accountable.


Assisting a friend to cheat by providing theanswers or a copy of your papers is not a violation of the Code of AcademicEthics, since you did your own work.

oFalse. Assisting someone to cheat or plagiarizeis a violation and is classified as “aiding and abetting.” As such, you too canhave a case filed against you for violating the Code of Academic Ethics.


Only students are held accountable for upholdingthe Code of Academic Ethics.

oFalse. The Code of Academic Ethics applies tothe entire AUC community, and all members are equally responsible for ensuringthat it is upheld.


 The expectations of one professor are going tobe the same for all professors.

oFalse. Course objectives vary by class as doesgrading and requirements. The syllabus should explain course policies andexpectations. Make sure you read the syllabus for each class at the beginningof the semester so that there is no misunderstanding of expectations.


All professors grade the same way.

oFalse. Just like expectations are different, sotoo is grading criteria. Again, this should be explained in the coursesyllabus. If it is not, you have the right to ask the professor. Someprofessors may grade out of a total of 100, and any deduction on assignments,exams, participation, etc. is a deduction from your final grade. Otherprofessors may weight assignments, etc. as a percentage of the final grade andsubsequently grade each individual assignment out of 100 percent. Understandingeach professor’s marking style is an important element in understanding yourown progress in the course. Additionally, the priorities that professors place on certain elements of an assignment will vary by professor. For example, some professors may consider presentation, spelling, and grammar to be of more significance in grade determination than others. Other professors may be very specific on word count or page length. All of these elements contribute to the overall grade, but how a professors weighs these elements in determining the final grade will vary. 

·It is the professor’s responsibility to notifyyou of all missed information due to course absence(s).

oFalse. You are responsible for seeking out allmissed information if you miss class. “I was absent and my professor didn’temail me with the information,” is not an excuse. Also remember, while friendscan be useful sources of information, it’s always best to speak directly to theprofessor to ensure that you are receiving accurate and complete information.

·Information that is in the syllabus but is notspoken is not important.

oFalse. Think of your syllabus as a contract withyour professor. The syllabus explains what you can expect to take away from theclass, and in return, what the professor expects from you. Together, theseexpectations include behavior, assignments, and grading. Read every syllabusfor every class ­– it may prevent some unwelcome surprises later on. 


      You do not need to cite your sources on an exam.

     o  False. All material needs to be cited that is not your own words or ideas. If you are studying from outside materials in preparation for an exam, and you use portions of this information in you exam, you must cite it. Not citing on exams is a form of plagiarism and can result in a case with the academic integrity committee.