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Understanding Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism

Academic integrity is of paramount importance in research and learning. The world has advanced so much today because of academic integrity. When researchers are recognized for their work and given their deserved accolades, they become motivated to do better. Through generations of such work, we have now advanced into the digital age.

All of this is undermined due to plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of using other people’s work without their knowledge or permission and without crediting them. This act goes against all facets of academic integrity.

In this article, we will learn why academic integrity is important and how plagiarism undermines it. By the end of this post, you will be more informed about these things and better equipped to deal with them accordingly.

Understanding Academic Integrity

Understanding Academic Integrity
Understanding Academic Integrity

Integrity in academia refers to five things. These five things are:

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  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Responsibility

Some sources bundle respect with trust and honesty, so they have four facets of integrity instead of five. So, what do these things entail? Here is a short breakdown of each.

1. Honesty

Honesty in academia refers to being truthful and upfront about your work. An honest academic writer will always acknowledge the contribution of other people in their work by giving credit. 

They will also clearly highlight which ideas and contributions belong to themselves without misappropriating other people’s work.  

If you know anything about plagiarism, then you know that it violates this tenant of academic integrity.

2. Trust

Trust in academia refers to being respectful of your colleagues and your superiors. You build trust when you remain honest and fulfil your commitments. When you acknowledge the work of others and give proper credit, others can trust you to do the right thing.

Trust builds credibility, and that means that your work will be better received because you are credible. Plagiarism violates this trust and makes others sceptical of you and your work.

3. Respect

Respect and trust are similar in that when you respect your colleagues and do not misappropriate their work, and they end up trusting you. This also encourages a healthy environment where academics boost each other up rather than try and pull them down.


Respect also gets you more opportunities to work together with other people. Anyhow, the point is that respect entails you do not steal or misuse the works of your colleagues and superiors in any way.

4. Fairness

Fairness again ties in to respect as it involves treating others with respect and equity. This means avoiding any form of discrimination, bias, or favouritism, and promoting diversity.

If you are in a position of power, you should not throw out ideas haphazardly. Giving such ideas a chance and letting the people who proposed them pursue them is called fairness. You can see how plagiarism is against fairness as it involves using another person’s work unfairly to boost oneself in a selfish way.

5. Responsibility

Responsibility in academia refers to being accountable for your actions. That means that you have to fulfil commitments and promises and responsibly use the works of others.


When you commit plagiarism, you are avoiding responsibility for your actions. Plagiarism is commonly done due to a lack of time and impending deadlines. When you commit plagiarism, you are effectively avoiding responsibility for your own failure.

When academics follow these five principles of academic integrity, they create a harmonious environment that promotes research and advancement. Failure to do so creates a harmful environment where the real brains do not work as their work gets stolen, thus killing their motivation. Or it results in brilliant minds getting laid back and becoming content with doing the bare minimum.

How to Avoid Plagiarism and Maintain Integrity?

Plagiarism, as you know by now, violates all the tenets of academic integrity; it is an act of dishonesty, disrespect, unfairness, and distrust and seeks to avoid responsibility. By intentionally committing plagiarism, a person utterly destroys any semblance of integrity.

Unfortunately, there is a genuine chance that plagiarism is committed by accident due to an oversight or by complete coincidence. Unfortunately, the academic world does not care for that; in this world, all plagiarism is the same. So, how can one maintain their integrity and avoid plagiarism? It’s actually not that difficult.

How to Avoid Plagiarism and Maintain Integrity.

How To Avoid Plagiarism

To avoid plagiarism, you have to realize what counts as plagiarism. Here are some common ways of committing plagiarism.

  • Not citing sources. If you do not cite sources, then you are not crediting the original author, and that is plagiarism.
  • Incorrect citations. If you cite sources but accidentally mix them up and provide the wrong authorship, date, or journal name, then that also counts as plagiarism.
  • Improper paraphrasing. Sometimes an academic writer may paraphrase the work of another to put it into better perspective. If this paraphrasing is not done sufficiently, then it counts as plagiarism. 
  • Not quoting. If you use some text verbatim and don’t quote it, then that is also plagiarism. So, you must use the correct quotation marks and add the right citation at the end.

So, avoiding plagiarism is as simple as making sure that you do not make these mistakes. That means that you.

  • Cite your sources
  • Quote properly
  • And make sure that all your information is correct

To cite sources correctly, you have to take rigorous notes during the research phase. These notes will help you to keep track of which information was taken from which source. This will help you avoid incorrect citations and quotes. Now that sounds simple, but sometimes mistakes do happen. So, how can you ensure that you have avoided plagiarism? The answer is in the next section.

How to find out If your Work has Plagiarism or Not?

To find out whether your work has plagiarism or not, there is one easy solution. It is to utilize online plagiarism detection tools. A free plagiarism checker can compare your work with many online sources to find any plagiarism traces. If your work has any similarity with any of the published works, then it will be flagged as plagiarism.

How to find out If your Work has Plagiarism or Not
How to find out If your Work has Plagiarism or Not

A good plagiarism-checking tool can not only detect that plagiarism is present in the work, it can pinpoint it as well. This includes all types of plagiarism, including paraphrasing plagiarism which is particularly difficult to find.

All you need to do is to input your content into the checker and let it do the rest. It will generate a report which will provide the following information.

  • A clear-cut figure depicting the amount of plagiarism in the work.
  • The exact sentences that are plagiarized.
  • The sources that the sentences are plagiarized from, along with their links.

With that knowledge, you can completely remove plagiarism from your work and maintain academic integrity.


In summary, to uphold academic integrity and promote a better environment for research, an academic should be well-versed in plagiarism. Once they know what plagiarism is and how it can be detected, they can use that information to detect and avoid it. Thus, ensuring that their work doesn’t violate any pillars of academic integrity. Read more articles from here Articles.

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About Pooja Roy

Pooja Roy, an accomplished Content Manager at Edufever, holds an MBA degree and boasts a rich experience spanning over 5 years within the content realm. With proven expertise in meticulous research and crafting relevant content. Your queries and suggestions are always welcome - feel free to comment below. Let's embark on this transformative journey together! 💼💫

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