Tools & Resources

Reference librarians, writing and learning consultants, the academic integrity coordinator, faculty and staff can help instructors and students alike prepare for responsible academic scholarship. Ask questions, get advice and take advantage of tools and resources across campus.


Academic Integrity Coordinator

The Academic Integrity Coordinator answers questions and gives advice about all aspects of restorative resolutions and academic integrity—and at any stage of the process. Instructors can invite the coordinator to make a presentation to their classes or at a department meeting. Students can invite the coordinator to speak to a study group. In-person presentations are an effective way of clarifying expectations, preventing plagiarism and helping students and faculty appreciate the importance of creating a culture of integrity on campus.

Check out these resources developed by the Academic Integrity Office.

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use and submission of another’s words, ideas, results, work or processes without providing appropriate credit to the individual(s) responsible. This can be done intentionally, but is very often unintentional due to a lack of skill and knowledge related to proper citation.

The Academic Integrity policy states that plagiarism is one form of academic misconduct, and it can result in a range of penalties and sanctions.

 

What constitutes plagiarism?

Plagiarism is often misunderstood. It is not only the act of copying text word-for-word; plagiarism also occurs when:

  • a student hands in work done wholly or in part by another person

  • portions of a submitted work are taken from another source without proper reference to that source

  • a student paraphrases sections of another work without acknowledging the source

  • ideas in a work are borrowed, derived or developed from another source without reference to that source (for example, "checking a few internet sites for ideas")

 

How to avoid plagiarism

The simplest way to avoid plagiarism is to reference any sources properly (using both in-text, parenthetical citations in the body of your assignment and a "Works Cited" or "References" page at the end).

While it is commonplace in academia to build upon the knowledge of others, it is necessary to clearly state the sources and foundations of that knowledge. Referencing must conform to an accepted system of documentation (such as MLA or APA style).

 

Penalties and sanctions for plagiarism

Depending on severity, plagiarized work may receive a mark of zero. All instances of plagiarism, intentional or not, are recorded by the Academic Integrity Office. Repeat instances of plagiarism will result in additional sanctions, such as a grade reduction up to a grade of F in a course, a transcript notation indicating "academic discipline" or expulsion from the university.


If you have any questions about plagiarism, please consult your instructor, a reference librarian or the Office of Academic Integrity.

Avoiding inappropriate collaboration

Each instructor has expectations regarding the amount and kind of collaboration permitted for an assignment. There are many different degrees of collaboration. For instance, you may be:

  • expected to complete an assignment independently

  • asked to complete an experiment (lab) with a partner but write individual reports on the results

  • asked to submit one assignment on behalf of a group, with the same mark assigned to all students

  • required to participate in some other form of group work outlined by the instructor

  • permitted or not permitted to receive feedback on your work, have it proofread or coy edited by a peer, tutor or anyone else. This usually depends on what is being assessed.

The instructor is responsible for clearly stating expectations for each assignment. Within the same course, there may be several assignments, each with different expectations regarding collaboration. Or instructors in different classes may have different expectations for similar assignments. If you have any questions, please ask your instructor(s) for clarification.

Serious problems can occur when students do not follow instructions regarding collaboration. This is called “improper collaboration” or “inappropriate collaboration” and is a form of academic misconduct.

When an instructor requires you to work alone on an assignment or limits the amount of collaboration you can do, this is done for a specific purpose and is part of the learning process. Unless you are specifically told to work in a group or with a partner, assume any assignment is to be done individually.


Policy Icon Ilustration

Student Academic Integrity

Understand the regulations governing academic integrity. Learn about our commitment to fostering honesty, fairness and ethical behaviour through prevention and education.


Restorative Practices 

The International Institute for Restorative Practices defines restorative and related terms and provides numerous resources for individuals and organizations interested in strengthening "relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities." At the local level, Alberta Education resources shows how MacEwan's commitment to restorative practices aligns with provincial efforts at the primary and secondary education levels.

Defining restorative practice

Alberta Education resources


MacEwan Library

MacEwan University’s library is a key source of information for students as they begin a research project, find and evaluate information and learn properly cite sources. Research librarians can help students at various stages of the research process, and the library website contains useful information on various aspects or research and citation.

Research How-tos



Writing & Learning Services at the Writing Centre

Writing and learning consultants can teach students how to write for an academic audience and maintain academic integrity in writing projects, such as essays, research papers, letters and reports. Students learn to avoid plagiarism and to properly use APA, ASA, MLA and Chicago documentation styles to cite information correctly. The Writing Centre also provides tips for note taking, time management and writing exams. Services are provided at no cost.

Writing & Learning Services