The University of Connecticut’s policy on academic integrity for undergraduates can be found in Responsibilities of Community Life: The Student Code, in Appendix A: Academic Integrity in Undergraduate Education and Research. It reads, in part:
Academic misconduct is dishonest or unethical academic behavior that includes, but is not limited to, misrepresenting mastery in an academic area (e.g., cheating), failing to properly credit information, research or ideas to their rightful originators or representing such information, research or ideas as your own (e.g., plagiarism).
Academic integrity and ethical conduct in research are of paramount importance, not only in executing research procedures but also in pursuing support for that research and in disseminating results.
In the University Scholar Program, the most common academic integrity issue that we see is illegitimate paraphrase in an application. In such cases, the student’s writing follows the text of the source too closely rather than presenting the source’s ideas in the student’s own words. While academic disciplines vary in their usage of direct quotation, paraphrase, and summary, as well as in their preferred style of referencing and citation (e.g., MLA, APA), disciplines do not differ in their emphasis on the proper attribution of information and ideas to their sources.
How can you avoid illegitimate paraphrase?
- First, use good note-taking practices when you are reading the literature in your field. If you record the exact language from your source, place it within quotation marks and indicate the page reference. If your notes pertain to the ideas in the source, use your own words to capture these ideas.
- Second, when you draft your text from your notes, integrate sources to further the argument you are developing and include the appropriate citations as you write.
- Third, with your draft in hand, go back to the original source to confirm that you are representing its content accurately and with distinct language and structure.
For further guidance on how to cite and paraphrase correctly, please refer to the Writing Center’s Citation and Paraphrasing Resources.
The University Scholar Program emphasizes originality and evidence of independent thinking. The Program also encourages you to seek feedback on your proposal from faculty and others with whom you may be collaborating (e.g. graduate students). While such feedback is important to writing a strong proposal, please ensure that your proposal is written in your own words. This cautionary advice is particularly relevant in the sciences where co-authorship is the norm and collaborative writing and editing are common practice. When in doubt, cite your sources and acknowledge collaboration.
Statement of Academic Integrity
When submitting a University Scholar application, students will be asked to sign their names below the following Statement of Academic Integrity on the proposal cover sheet:
I confirm that I have prepared all components of this application in accordance with University standards for academic integrity.
Consequences of Academic Misconduct
If academic misconduct (e.g., plagiarism) is detected in application materials, consequences may include disqualification from consideration for the University Scholar Program and referral to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board.