Academic Integrity: Plagiarism, Cheating and More

In accordance with the AUC’s efforts to promote a culture of academic integrity on campus, the Rhetoric and Composition Department strictly enforces the academic integrity principles found in AUC’s Code of Academic Integrity.  Instructors are trained to ensure students are doing their own work; additionally, students must also use for all drafts of major assignments. Violations of academic integrity can lead to serious consequences including failing the course, and notes being put on your permanent transcript.


How do I know what is legitimate borrowing from a source and what is plagiarism?


 The Department of Rhetoric and Composition teaches what does and does not constitute plagiarism in its courses. Therefore, students should know how to make this distinction.  If a student is still uncertain after classroom instruction and after reading provided class materials on the subject, then the student is encouraged to meet with their instructor and/or visit the writing center.


How will the instructor know if I have copied my paper from the Internet, had the paper written by a professional writing service, or tried some other tricky thing?


Instructors are able to notice changes in a student’s writing style quite easily.  Also instructors often collect in class writing samples to be able to compare to.  Additionally, most instructors routinely check papers using one or more special anti-plagiarism programs which track down any text that has been taken from any Internet source or written by a professional writing service or by any former students at AUC.


What are the consequences of violations of academic integrity?


Any violation of academic integrity (plagiarism, cheating, data fabrication, submitting an assignment or part of an assignment written for another course, impersonation, etc.) may automatically result in a grade of “F” for the course in which the offence was committed, a case being filed against the student at the Academic Integrity Committee, and a note of academic integrity being added to the the student’s transcript.


What happens if an instructor suspects that I have violated academic integrity?


  1. The instructor will first review your work and then seek further information from you, sometimes departmental assistance is given at this stage.

  2. If after this further review it appears that there has been a violation of academic integrity, the instructor will report it to the Chair/Associate Chair of the Rhetoric and Composition Department for additional review.

  3. After this review, if there appears to be a violation, then the instructor completes an Academic Integrity Violation Report, who then submits it to the Chair/Associate Chair for approval.

  4. The approved report is then submitted to the Academic Integrity Committee (AIC).

  5. The instructor will then send you an email that notifies you that your case is being reported to the AIC, with a copy of the report submitted to this committee.  The student will be expected to know this information when they appear before the AIC.  At this time the instructor will notify you of the effect of this on your class standing, with the consequence often being an automatic fail.


What is is an excellent resource that allows students and instructors to have access to a number of electronic tools that can help improve academic writing.  It can allow for peer editing of papers, instructor feedback, grading, and more.  It also allows students and instructors to check if a student’s paper has similarity to other student’s papers, internet sources, books, journals, and more.  A high similarity score can indicate important problems in writing, such as plagiarism and excessive use of sources or quoting.  You instructor will tell you more about how to use in class.


Students agree that by taking their RHET or CORE course that all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to for the detection of plagiarism.  All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers.  Use of the service is subject to the Usage Policy posted on the site.



What are the procedures for using


  1. You need to open a account.

  2. Instructors will provide a class ID and password so that you can connect the class to your account.

  3. Instructors will require you to submit major assignments (including drafts) to

  4. reviews the sumbitted assignment and produces an Originality Report.

    1. You should carefully check the report. reports can be a helpful tool for you to see if there is any plagiarism (using sources without citing) or excessive use of sources (too many quotes and paraphrasing).  If you find a problem, you should immediately communicate with your instructor that you have noticed the problem.

    2. Instructors will also carefully check the Turnitin originality report to confirm that no problems exist.  If problems are detected, the instructor will communicate with you.