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Academic Integrity & Avoiding Plagiarism: Introduction

What is Academic Integrity?

"All work submitted by learners for assessment purposes, or for written or oral publication, must be their own work. Where this is informed by the work of others, the source must be properly referenced using the accepted norms and formats of the appropriate academic discipline".

Reference: DkIT Academic Council. (2015). DkIT academic integrity policy and procedures [online]. Available from: http://www.dkit.ie/registrar/academic-policies/academic-integrity-policy-procedures [accessed July 24 2015].

Why does it matter?

Why does academic integrity matter? Think about the following scenarios... (adapted from http://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/academic_integrity/)


  • You are injured playing football and the nurse who treats you bought her essays instead of writing them.
  • She doesn’t know how to keep up with the latest research because she never learnt how to read the journals so she recommends old, outdated treatments.

  • You are an engineer whose best friend was always better at doing assignments so you relied on her throughout college to help you.
  • Now, two years out of college, you have been put in charge of a major project that could result in a big promotion.
  • But you don’t know how to go about getting it done. You know how to memorise for exams but you don’t know how to solve problems.

Academic writing: achieving integrity

Your lecturers design coursework so that you learn important skills that you will use throughout your time in college and in the workplace. You are expected to build on the work of others while you create something original from that work.

You can achieve academic integrity through:

  • good academic writing
  • avoiding plagiarism
  • referencing and citing appropriately

Writing in an academic context is different from writing in other situations. There are specific conventions of structure, style and content that your lecturer expects to see in your assignments. So it can be a  challenge at first.

Don't be tempted to take short cuts, always approach your academic writing with honesty and integrity.

Overview of academic integrity

DkIT lecturer Dr. Ronan Bree shares some thoughts on academic integrity.