Academic Integrity


Conferral of a graduate degree implies personal integrity and knowledge of scholarly methods. There are three areas in which graduate students should be particularly cautious: (1) proper citation of works by others, (2) the use of copyrighted material, and (3) adherence to research ethics.

Any material taken from another work must be documented, and in no case should one represent another's work as one's own: this includes information received from others during examinations or submitting another's assignments, papers, etc. as one's own. In order to avoid questions of plagiarism, students involved in collaborative research should exercise extreme caution. If in doubt, students should check with the major professor and the graduate school about the project. Plagiarism will be investigated when suspected and sanctioned if established. (Based on: Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations (1992).

Because the purpose of any university is the origination and honest dissemination of knowledge, any act that fails to forward those aims must be judged unethical. Plagiarism is such an act, and is defined as the presentation of another's works or ideas as one's own. This includes the unacknowledged word for word use and/or paraphrasing of another person's work, and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person's ideas. To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or by appropriate indentation and must be properly cited in the text or in a footnote. Acknowledgment is required when material from another source stored in print, electronic or other medium is copied, quoted, paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one's own words. All violations of academic honesty are subject to appropriate administrative sanction, and any student who submits plagiarized work to satisfy an academic requirement will be subject to dismissal from his or her graduate program and the University.