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Plagiarism & Academic Integrity

Learn more about ways to avoid academic integrity issues

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is part of the academic honesty policy at Tiffin University, which is located in the academic bulletin. In general, to avoid plagiarism you will want to do the following when writing your papers:

  • Use original language.
  • Use quotations appropriately.
  • Use citations appropriately.

Additionally, you can be academically dishonest without necessarily plagiarizing. Some examples of things you don't want to do to maintain academic integrity include the following:

  • Don’t get external help when it hasn’t been explicitly authorized.
  • Don’t reuse assignments or papers unless you have explicit permission from your instructor.
  • Don’t work collaboratively on individual assignments.
  • Don’t make up your evidence.
  • Don’t interfere with another’s work.
  • Don’t help others commit these acts.

For more information on plagiarism, check out the links below.

Academic Integrity Policy - Undergraduate Students

Below is an excerpt of "Undergraduate Policy on Academic Integrity" dealing specifically with plagiarism and its consequences. The full policy can be found be in Tiffin University Academic Bulletin.

C. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional practice of taking someone else’s work and passing it off as one’s own.  If the work of another is used, the student must acknowledge the original source through a recognized reference practice. Quotation marks must be used if work is copied verbatim. Students will acknowledge the work of others in the following circumstances. These examples are meant to be illustrative in nature and do not identify all instances of plagiarism, but are identified

  1. Whenever one uses another person’s words
  2. Whenever one uses another person’s ideas, opinion or theory even if it is completely paraphrased in your own words or
  3. Whenever one borrows facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials, unless such information is of such common knowledge as not to be questioned.

Consequences of Academic Misconduct

Violations of Academic Integrity that occurs within a course:

A faculty member has the full discretion to penalize any act of academic dishonesty by issuing a grade of “F” and/or score of zero (0) for an assignment if the faculty member believes an unintentional act of academic dishonesty was committed. Students would then be required to take the Academic Integrity Development Program offered by Pfeiffer library or some other resource as deemed appropriate by the faculty member. The AID program tracks student participation.  There will be no assignment XF grades recorded.

Upon a finding by a faculty member that a student has committed an intentional act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member may file for a grade of “XF” for the course.  Upon the decision to pursue an XF grade, 

  1. The faculty member must immediately notify the Dean of the school that the course is in with documentation and the student of the intent and their right to appeal.
  2. The Dean will notify the Registrar that the faculty member wishes to pursue an XF grade for the course.
  3. The Registrar will then note that the student may not withdraw from the course due to the pending XF grade.
  4. If the grade of XF is upheld, a warning letter from the Office of the Provost will be sent to the student notifying the student that the receipt of a second “XF” will result in permanent dismissal. The registrar will maintain a copy of the letter in the student’s permanent file and the student will be required to meet with the Provost.
  5. If the grade of XF is upheld before the end of the semester or term, the student will be removed from the course

Academic Honesty Policy - Graduate Students

The following policy statement and any revisions can be found in the most recent edition of the TU Academic Bulletin:


Academic institutions have the responsibility to promote and inculcate the highest standards of ethics among students. Therefore, Tiffin University places the highest value on academic honesty. Any act of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, committed by a student may be penalized with an F for the assignment or for the course in question at the discretion of the instructor. If warranted, acts of academic dishonesty may also attract more severe sanctions, such as suspension or dismissal.

Repeated Acts of Academic Dishonesty

1. Upon a finding by a faculty member that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member may assign a grade of XF. The faculty member will provide the Dean of the student’s school with documentation of the circumstances surrounding the occurrence.

2. A tracking mechanism and database is maintained by the Office of Registration and Records to identify students who receive a grade of XF. The School Dean will be notified when a student receives an XF. In the case of individual instances of academic dishonesty that are not severe enough to lead to a grade of XF, but are severe enough to lead to a student failing an individual assignment, faculty members will report these cases of academic dishonesty to the Dean of the student’s school. The process through which these instances are documented and handled, including any remediation, is at the discretion of the faculty of the respective schools.

3. First Occurrence - Upon the submission of a grade of XF the student will be placed on academic probation. The student will be required to undergo remediation and a warning letter from the School Dean will be sent to the student notifying the student that the receipt of a second XF will result in permanent dismissal.

4. Second Occurrence - All second occurrences will be reviewed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs to confirm the dismissal.

5. Grades of XF will be expunged from the student’s record upon dismissal, transfer or graduation from Tiffin University.

Reasons to Follow the Policy

Harris (2001) provided some insight on why you as a student should want to avoid plagiarism and uphold your academic integrity. These reasons include:

  • Strengthening your paper by showing the support of you ideas by outside thinkers
  • Assisting the reader in locating your sources
  • Treating others as you would want to be treated
  • Respecting intellectual property

By beginning the habit of citing your sources now, you will also be preparing yourself for the future.

Harris, R. A. (2001). The plagiarism handbook: Strategies for preventing, detecting, and dealing with plagiarism. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak.