Academic Integrity

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I Bought It, It's Mine!

Dollar bill. positech.co.ukSarah had an essay due in just 2 hours! In a rush to complete the essay, Sarah found an abstract for an online essay that covered her topic. The full essay was available for download with a $1.00 fee. Sarah downloaded the essay to use as a resource, but a friend called and they talked for over an hour! Sarah decided to add an original introduction and submit the essay with a citation for the essay as her reference.

Did Sarah maintain academic integrity?

Click the options below and consider the feedback.

Option 1: Yes, she included a citation

Exclamation  PointWhoa! Sarah violated academic integrity. Although Sarah cited the essay, she did not distinguish which parts of the writing were her original words and which parts were in the bought essay. Sarah committed an act of plagiarism and submitted coursework completed by another.

TIP! (light bulb)Websites offering essays for a fee may suggest you own and can reuse the essay as original work - these sites are called Essay Mills. However, you could use a purchased essay as a resource and cite quotes, paraphrases, and summaries from it.

Option 2: Yes, she bought and therefore owns the essay's content

Exclamation  PointWhoa! Although Sarah purchased the essay, she needed to cite within the writing and in the list of sources. It does not matter if Sarah paid $1.00 or $100.00! Even though Sarah edited the introduction, she submitted work completed by another and committed an act of plagiarism.

TIP! (light bulb)Writing assignments are usually focused on demonstrating understanding of a topic and abilities in research and writing. You will always learn more in a course if you take the time to do research and allow yourself time to create an original work!

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