We value our faculty members and want to provide you with the tools and resources necessary to conduct a classroom that lives up to the academic integrity standards set forth by the university. Below are procedures and ways in which you can successfully implement academic honesty within your courses. In addition, there are various resources (see right) that can be of continual help to both you and your students.
How can I encourage academic integrity within my classes?
The suggestions provided below can help you do your part to encourage academic integrity:
- Define and explain plagiarism to your students, including Miami's policies.
- Spell out the concept of intellectual property and documentation of material for your students. Don't assume that your students have this understanding prior to joining your class.
- Explain exactly how much group work and student collaboration is permissible.
- Demonstrate and discuss with your students how and when to document sources.
- Provide opportunities for your students to do research and become familiar with the research resources available to them at Miami.
- Establish timelines and due dates for all projects and papers. This will help your students plan their research time accordingly.
- Require that students include copies of all sources with final drafts.
- Ask your students to complete the online tutorial, iQ, to learn more about plagiarism.
- Have your student take and receive class credit for completing the MU Academic Integrity quiz, mIntegrity.
- Provide written handouts on the issues of academic misconduct.
- Clearly spell out expectations in the course syllabus.
- Have your students turn in their written assignments through the online tool, Turnitin.com.
* Many of these ideas are borrowed from FeministGeek.com.
How can I detect plagiarism?
Plagiarism can be detected in various ways, but it is important to follow up any suspicions with a discussion with the student. Below are a number of cues* that indicate student work may have been plagiarized:
- Citation styles and bibliographic citations are inconsistent and mixed or non-existent. The style guide used is not the one used for the course.
- The paper is clearly written at a level beyond the student's usual abilities and may include advanced vocabulary, jargon, or combined formal and informal language.
- Inconsistencies are evident from one assignment to another. (For example, the second essay is far superior.)
- The paper contains a mix of Canadian, American, and British spellings or regionalisms.
- References used throughout the paper are dated (all more than five years old, for example). Such cases may indicate that the paper was purchased through an essay writing service or written by someone other than the student.
- References are made to tables, diagrams, pieces of text or citations when none of this content exists in the paper.
- References are made to journals or books not readily available in the university or local libraries.
- The topic of the paper is inconsistent with the one assigned or course content.
- The writing style changes from section to section. (For example, vocabulary choice may be wider in some paragraphs than in others.)
- When asked, the student cannot produce any research notes for the paper or summarize the main points in the paper.
* Many of these ideas are borrowed from Ryerson University.
What should I do if I suspect academic dishonesty?
The Office of the Provost has developed a step-by-step manual for adjudicating cases of academic dishonesty titled Procedures for Addressing Cases of Academic Dishonesty (PDF 3.1MB). We strongly suggest you become familiar with this guide that covers the entire adjudication process, from suspicion of academic dishonesty to appeals and records.
Additionally, templates for all letters a faculty member or administrator may need to construct during the adjudication process have been provided for your effortless implementation (see Faculty Resources).
Procedures for reporting and adjudicating cases of academic dishonesty can also be found in Section 1.5.C of The Student Handbook (PDF 892KB).