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Academic Integrity and Ways to Avoid Plagiarism


Academic integrity accounts for the responsibility and honesty of students when performing academic work. This means that academic works should be a personal effort, and intellectual contributions from other individuals should be recognized. Plagiarism is illegal; plagiarism is the use of information without acknowledging its contribution (Davis, 2009). It occurs in many forms such as copying, cheating, and paraphrasing while failing to accredit the author’s idea that one has used. This is a dishonest exercise because it cripples an individual intellectual ability and is a major infringement of academic integrity (Graham, 2013). This paper seeks to provide a clear understanding of academic integrity and demonstrate ways in which a student can avoid plagiarism.


The work of the student is 98% percent plagiarized, the student has failed to cite the original source of information. Much of the information in this work can be traced on the internet, she has failed to use her own words and allow the reader to know the source of her information (Stoll n.d.). Only two percent of this work is original because she has given credit to the individual who provided the information. The writer has used other individual information without putting any quotation marks around it; this is a serious case of plagiarism and an academic offense (Northedge, 1998). The two sentences are highly plagiarized, “Consumers must trust that the research that has gone into the manufacture of new drugs is safe. But it is hard to know if a conflict of interest between doctors, researchers, and the drug company stockholders has tainted the results. Biomedical researchers incorporate strict rules of science into their work, which is examined by peers.”

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To avoid plagiarism the student should paraphrase this sentence in the following manner. It is important that consumers should understand that the research was undertaken to manufacture a drug is safe. Nevertheless, it is hard to establish if the medical stakeholders such as the doctors and Drug Company have tainted the results due to a common conflict of interest (Renfrow, 2009).

There are many strategies that students should employ to avoid plagiarism. A student should be able to acknowledge the ideas of another individual in their academic work. A student should be able to give credit to a person’s idea, graphs, statistics, and any piece of information which is not common knowledge (Zuckerman). A student should also put quotation marks when they write someone’s direct work from their source. In terms of paraphrasing, a student should ensure that they do not rearrange words, but rather they should carefully read the piece of information, synthesize it, and put it in their own words (Westphal, 2013). After one paraphrase someone’s work, they should check the work against the piece of information to make certain that one has not the same words or phrases as the author of the article and that one provides accurate information (Davis, 2009).

For the sake of professionalism and integrity, avoiding plagiarism is of utmost importance. One of the identified and acceptable ways of avoiding plagiarism is recognizing original sources used in composing the work done (Galen, 2010).


It is very important that a student should acknowledge the intellectual contribution of other individuals in their academic performance. Failure to do so is a breach of academic integrity and will infringe a student’s capacity to do critical and creative things in academics (Carroll, 2002).

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