Along with your own original work, part of scholarly writing involves integrating the ideas of others. Academic integrity requires that you truthfully present your own ideas and identify when you are incorporating the work and ideas of others.
A citation is a reference to another person’s work. You will often read what others have written on a topic and integrate their work into your own writing. By including citations, you show your readers that you have done some research; you also help position your ideas within the scholarly conversation on a topic. When you are quoting numbers and statistics, citations show your readers that the information is factual and can be trusted. Citations provide just enough details to lead your reader to the sources you used, in a standardized format.
Informing readers where you found information helps them distinguish between existing sources and your original thoughts. This is critically important! Failing to cite can lead to a charge of plagiarism, which can have various consequences depending on your institution: a reduced grade or even a zero on an assignment, a failing grade for the whole course, or a disciplinary notation in your student file. Failing to cite can also devalue your work, as readers will not trust you.
Listen to Audio Podcast 9.1 about a discussion about Academic Integrity with John Paul Foxe who is the Director of the Academic Integrity Office at Ryerson University.
Audio Podcast 9:1: Academic integrity [18:46]
Academic Integrity Office
Check out your university’s academic integrity office. It will usually have a website with tutorials, videos, quizzes, and other resources related to academic integrity. Here is a link to the Ryerson University Academic Integrity Office: https://www.ryerson.ca/academicintegrity/students/
The middle section of this page is an adaptation (editorial changes and made more concise) of:
Write Here, Right Now by Dr. Paul Chafe, Aaron Tucker with chapters from Dr. Kari Maaren, Dr. Martha Adante, Val Lem, Trina Grover and Kelly Dermody, under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Download this book for free at: https://pressbooks.library.ryerson.ca/writehere/