Eastern Mennonite University – Academic Integrity Policy
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Eastern Mennonite University fosters a culture where faculty, staff, and students respect themselves and
others. In this culture, faculty, staff, and students gain confidence in their desire and ability to discover their
ideas, construct new knowledge, and think critically about their own ideas and the ideas of others. In doing
so, EMU community members grow as competent thinkers and writers.
EMU faculty and staff care about the integrity of their own work and the work of their students. They create
assignments that promote interpretative thinking and work intentionally with students during the learning
process. Honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility are characteristics of a community that is active
in loving mercy, doing justice, and walking humbly before God.
- honesty in producing one’s own work.
- use of documented course information and aids.
- submission of work that is one’s own.
- honesty in representation of research results, one’s credentials, and facts or opinions.
- honesty in use of technology, including cell phones and the Internet.
- honesty in acknowledging sources used in research and presented in papers and other assignments.
- honesty in establishing and maintaining the appropriate parameters of collaborative work.
- using accurate quotations. When used, quotations are exact, word-for-word as they appear in the original
document. Every quotation, including a short phrase or a single word if it is unusual, includes the required
citation and quotation marks.
- using appropriate paraphrasing with documentation. Paraphrasing is more than rewording the original
material. It must be nearly entirely in the writer’s own words, using new phrases and synonyms. The writer
may repeat technical terms. Place quotation marks around any exact words that are retained. The sentence
structure should not be the same as in the source. In the paraphrase, do not add interpretations, ideas, and
assessment that are not in the original source.
- documenting and citing work that was created for a previous assignment, whether for the current course
or for another one.
- using appropriate documentation when using words from a class speaker, including the class instructor,
in an assignment, i.e. cite professors’ lectures.
- using common knowledge appropriately. Common knowledge is information that is easily observed,
commonly reported facts (George Washington was the first president of the United States.), or proverbs.
Common knowledge does not need to be cited, but be certain that these words are in the public domain.
When in doubt, ask the professor.
EMU defines *plagiarism *as occurring when a person presents as one’s own someone else’s language, ideas,
or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source (adapted from the
Council of Writing Program Administrators, 2005, http://www.wpacouncil.org).
A minimal violation of academic integrity codes includes doing the following without appropriate documentation:
a) using a minimal number of distinguishing words from a source.
b) re-arranging the word order of a sentence.
c) producing a similar sentence or style from a source.
d) using an idea or argument from a source
(These items are adapted from “Westmont College Plagiarism Policy” (2002)
A substantial violation of academic integrity codes includes (but is not limited to):
a) cheating on a quiz, test, or exam.
b) copying or attempting to copy someone else’s work, including paraphrasing or quoting a professor’s
classroom lectures, handouts, and presentations without appropriate documentation.
c) falsifying results and credentials, withholding data, misrepresenting facts.
d) using someone else’s work as one’s own work.
e) using quotations with no documentation.
f) using an online source by copying and pasting with no documentation. Online sources may appear
free. In this case, free means economically free. While a source may not be paid for, it is to be used
only for its specified use. A citation must be given if words, graphics, or ideas are used.
g) presenting material as one’s own from a site that sells essays. Some of the papers-for-sale sites do
have disclaimers that state the work must be cited. Remember, if a source can be found, the professor
can also find it.
h) frequently committing minimal violations within a single document or repeatedly over time.
i) Assisting another student to cheat or to copy one’s own or someone else’s work without appropriate
Undergraduate academic departments and graduate units are responsible for establishing right-of-use
parameters for non-print materials (e.g. presentations).
D. (Graduate, Seminary, and Undergraduate)
When a student violates academic integrity values, the student and professor/advisor will work together to
restore the student to community.
When a first-time minimal violation is noted in a project, the professor will use this as an opportunity to
teach the student/s explicitly about academic integrity. Faculty should keep internal records of minimal
violations. When a second minimal violation occurs, either within the same class or in multiple classes with
the same instructor, faculty will document this as a substantial offense by submitting a Violation of
Academic Integrity Report to the respective chair or program director. Chairs and program directors must
forward a copy of the report to their respective dean.
At EMU, when academic integrity codes are violated to this level, the following procedure will be followed.
1. notify the student of the violation.
2. determine whether the student is guilty of the violation.
3. contact the respective chair or program director’s office to check on previous student
violations in order to determine first, second or third offense.
4. document the finding and the action either taken (First-time offense) or repeated (Second
and Third-time offenses) on the Violation of Academic Integrity Record.
5. meet with the student to obtain the student’s signature, either acknowledging her/his
violation or acknowledging discussion in which the professor explained the charges to the
student. In the event that a student refuses to sign, the professor will document that the violation
was discussed with the student and the student refused to sign. (Under some circumstances, the
professor may want to request another professor present as witness. Students have the option to
include a faculty or staff member, e.g. academic advisor, student life personnel, coach.)
6. submit the Violation of Academic Integrity Record to the respective chair or program
director. Copies are forwarded to the dean.
1. for undergraduate students, inform the Vice President for Student Life of violations and
2. for all students, follow steps described below for Second and Third-time offenses.
1. accept the decision or
2. submit an appeal by following the Appeal Procedures. (See respective catalog.)
Each dean will maintain a database recording all violation of academic integrity reports. These records will
be kept as part of the student’s permanent record, unless it is withdrawn following appeal.
- First-time substantial violation: If a student cheats on a quiz, test, or exam or plagiarizes material in an
assignment, the quiz, test, exam, or assignment receive an F or 0 grade at faculty discretion. For an extreme
first time offense, a professor may give the student an F for the course (e.g. essay taken from Internet, test
answers from another source). At the discretion of the professor, educational and restorative outcomes could
include enrolling in an Academic Integrity workshop, provided by EMU’s Writing Program Director,
revising and re-submitting the assignment.
- Second-time substantial violation: If the student repeats the above violation in the same or another
course or commits another violation in the same or another course, a professor may give the student an F for
the course, and the student may receive a Letter of Probation. (See Student Handbook, University Policies,
- Third-time substantial violation: If the student commits the violation for the third time, the professor
may give the student an F for the course, and the student may receive a Letter of Indefinite
Suspension/Disciplinary Withdrawal. (See Student Handbook, University Policies.)
- Upon re-enrollment and a subsequent violation, the professor may give the student an F for the course, and
the student may be subject to a Letter of Dismissal at the discretion of the university.
(See Student Handbook, University Policies, http://www.emu.edu/studentlife/studenthandbook/)
Faculty and staff who violate academic integrity codes are subject to review by the Provost’s office.
The graduate, seminary, and undergraduate units use this policy for processing academic integrity violations
with the exception of student appeal. (See above.) This policy appears in yearly course catalogs; the Student
Handbook; on graduate, seminary, and undergraduate websites; and at z://provost/forms. The Academic
Integrity Policy flow chart is also available at z://provost/forms.
Reviewed by Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council, and Faculty Senate
Approved by Academic Cabinet, March 25, 2009
Revised by Academic Cabinet, October 6, 2010
The provost is responsible for this policy.
This policy is to be reviewed annually.
¹ Adapted from American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (2007) Academic Dishonesty: Developing and Implementing Institutional Policy.
Printable copy of this policy