This page presents some of the general questions often asked about academic integrity and offers brief answers. As more questions are asked, this page will grow.

If you don’t find your question asked and answered here or on the other pages of this site, feel free to send an Ask a Question email (you will be asked to sign in using your UCA credentials). Please note that we cannot answer questions about particular assignments or courses. Address such questions to the appropriate instructor.

Q. How do I find out what qualifies as academic misconduct?

A. First, know the definitions of common forms of academic misconduct. UCA’s Academic Integrity Policy lists three – cheating (the most general form), plagiarism, and fabrication – and cites dictionary definitions (link to the policy). Second, familiarize yourself with the examples page in this site (link to the page). Third, if you have questions about particular assignments and situations, talk with your instructor. Fourth, a number of Internet-based “plagiarism checkers” exist; debate is on-going about the use of such tools, but it can’t hurt to consult your instructor for her/his opinion and to ask if such a tool is available to UCA students.

Q. What happens if I am accused of academic misconduct?

A. UCA’s Academic Integrity Policy, beginning with section D, outlines the process for allegations of misconduct and for appeals if the student believes the allegation is incorrect (link to the policy; the policy is also published in the current edition of the UCA Student Handbook). Note these key points:

  • The policy specifies a process for instructors to use in making allegations of academic misconduct and gives an instructor discretion in the assignment of course-related penalties for such misconduct.
  • The policy mandates that every official allegation of academic misconduct becomes a part of the accused student’s record (an “Academic Misconduct Record”), including the outcome of any appeal of the allegation.
  • The policy requires that documentation of the allegation and any subsequent appeals be maintained.
  • The policy defines the process and timeline for appeals of allegations of academic misconduct.
  • The policy identifies escalating consequences for repeated violations of the academic integrity policy.

Q. Why is academic misconduct such a big deal? Why do professors get so upset about it?

A. See “Why ‘integrity’?” on this site’s home page (link to the page).