Academic Integrity

Academic IntegrityIntroduction

Acting with academic integrity means that all the assignments we do, the tests we take, and the ideas we come up with are, in fact, entirely our own work.

Citation Styles

Ciiting properly is vital for properly integrating research into your paper and maintaining academic integrity. The following links lead to guides for the most commonly used citation styles at Tyndale. For information on academic integrity and how to avoid academic fraud, including plagiarism, keep reading below. 

Academic Integrity and Academic Fraud

Any breach of academic integrity is academic fraud. The following are examples of academic fraud, based on Tyndale’s Academic Integrity Policy:

  • Falsifying documentation or information related to admissions or accessibility
  • Interfering with or falsifying academic assessments (whether your own or someone else’s)
  • Submitting the same assignment multiple times
  • Cheating (on assignments, tests, or exams)
  • Plagiarism (Anytime you use someone else’s words or ideas and claim them as your own, even if unintentionally.)

Plagiarism is by far the most common, and most commonly misunderstood, breach of academic integrity. There are three main ways to commit plagiarism:

  1. Incorrectly quoting
  2. Improper paraphrasing
  3. Failure to cite and reference properly
     

Incorrectly Quoting

Any time you use someone’s exact wording in your paper, those words must be quoted and formatted correctly. Short quotations must appear in quotation marks, while longer quotations use block quotation formatting. Both require you to cite the author according to the citation style you are using (the examples below are cited according to MLA style).

  • Original Source: "In 1997, the East Asian financial crisis had a disastrous impact on the Indonesian economy, which in turn put an end to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry." (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140)
  • Incorrect example: After Indonesia experienced a massive financial crisis in 1997, it put an end to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry. (Uses the same wording as the original without quoting or citing it).  
  • Correct example: After Indonesia experienced a massive "financial crisis" in 1997, it "put an end to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry" (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140).

Your quotations should be introduced with your own words first and then followed up with a sentence or two analyzing the relevance of that quotation to whatever you are currently arguing.

  • After Indonesia experienced a massive "financial crisis" in 1997, it "put an end to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry" (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140). The result was a vicious cycle where the declining industry further worsened the economic situation

NOTE: Unless you really need to dissect another author’s thoughts in depth, try to limit your quotations to a sentence or two at a time. Quoting too often – or simply copying entire paragraphs or pages of a book, article, or website – can also be breaches of academic integrity.

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Improper Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is when you take an author’s idea and put it in your own words. Professors often prefer paraphrasing to quoting because it shows that you can understand and contextualize someone else’s ideas in light of your arguments.

  • Original Source: "In 1997, the East Asian financial crisis had a disastrous impact on the Indonesian economy, which in turn put an end to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry." (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140)
  • Correct example: The paper-making industry in Indonesia slowed significantly after the country's economy crashed (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140).

Be careful, however. A good paraphrase does not simply replace every other word with a synonym. Instead, a paraphrase should rewrite the original wording based on a totally different structure.

  • Original Source: "In 1997, the East Asian financial crisis had a disastrous impact on the Indonesian economy, which in turn put an end to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry." (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140)
  • Incorrect example: In the late 1990s, the East Asian monetary situation had a destructive influence on Indonesia, and as a result, it put a stop to the growth of the pulp and paper industry (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140). (Every few words is just replaced with a synonym).

Similarly, paraphrases need to change the wording of the entire sentence. While you will inevitably reuse one word here and there, a proper paraphrase will not keep large chunks of the original wording the same.

  • Original Source: "In 1997, the East Asian financial crisis had a disastrous impact on the Indonesian economy, which in turn put an end to the expansion of the pulp and paper industry." (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140)
  • Incorrect example: The pulp and paper industry in Indonesia slowed significantly after the East Asian financial crisis had a disastrous impact on the Indonesian economy (Van Dijk and Szirmai 2140). (Wording is too similar to the original)

Finally, just like quotations, paraphrases must be cited. You still need to include the reference to the original work, though in some citation styles (e.g., APA), there are differences between how you cite a quotation and paraphrase.

  • Incorrect example: The paper-making industry in Indonesia slowed significantly after the country's economy crashed. (No citation)

In short, proper paraphrasing maintains the original author’s ideas, but does so with entirely different wording, an entirely different sentence structure, and is cited correctly.

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Failure to cite and reference properly

It is worth noting again one of the most common plagiarism issues: Giving credit where credit is due. You must use both of the following methods when incoprorating research into your paper:

  1. In-text citation: Whenever you bring in another author’s ideas, whether as a quote or a paraphrase, you MUST cite that source properly in-text using 1) parenthetical citations (APA, MLA, Turabian: Author-Date) or 2) footnotes (Chicago). But in-text citations on their own are not enough.
  2. References: At the end of every assignment, you must also include an alphabetized list of every source you used in your paper. This list goes by different names in different citation styles (Bibliography, References, Works Cited, etc.), but it is present in EVERY citation style.

For example, because we cited Van Dijk and Szirmai above (in MLA style), we need to include a Works Cited for the source at the end of this page.

Works Cited

Van Dijk, Michiel and Adam Szirmai. "Industrial Policy and Technology Diffusion: Evidence from Paper Making Machinery in Indonesia." Word Development, vol. 34, no. 12, 2006, pp. 2137-2152. Science Direct, doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2006.03.004. 

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Academic Integrity Module

Looking for more information on academic integrity, citations, quotations, and paraphrases? 

The Centre for Academic Excellence has created an "Academic Integrity" module. This module consists of videos and quizzes to test your citation knowledge. 

To access the modules, log into classes.tyndale.ca and click the "Student Resources" button at the top of the page. This will give you a dropdown to select "Academic Integrity for Seminary Students" or "Academic Integrity for Undergraduate Students." From there, enrol and complete as much of the module as you want. 

You can also view just the videos on our "Academic Integrity Module Playlist" on the CAE Talks YouTube page

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