top of page
  • Writer's pictureMatt Garris

Academic Integrity

The following post is adapted from my personal academic coursework.

Academic integrity is as important to career preparation as learning because the habits we develop as students follow us into the workplace. The RAISE Survey found that “89 percent of students surveyed think that cheating in college leads to cheating after graduation.” Cronan et al. determined that the underlying cause for this is that students believe that it is sometimes necessary “to act unethically to advance” and that “the practicality of an action may be more important than its ethicality.”

With such misguided thinking, it is not surprising that Cronan et al. stated that “students who admit to cheating are more likely to be tolerant of unethical workplace behavior.” However, this must mean that students who do not admit to cheating are comparably less likely to tolerate unethical workplace behavior. Thus, developing habits of academic integrity leads to higher levels of workplace integrity.

Cronan et al. identified “cheating on an exam or quiz, having and advance copy of an exam, sharing homework when not appropriate, using another’s ideas and work as your own, and falsifying documents” as examples of violations of academic integrity. Pandoi et al. asserted that “most universities around the globe consider plagiarism […] as the most serious offence,” and Maurer et al. explained that plagiarism can be: “a) accidental: due to the lack of knowledge of plagiarism and understanding of citation or referencing style being practiced at an institute; b) unintentional: the vastness of available information influences thoughts and the same ideas may come out via spoken or written expressions as one’s own; c) intentional : a deliberate act of copying complete or part of someone else’s work without giving proper credit to original creator; d) self-plagiarism: using self-published work in some other form without referring to the original one.”

With Maurer et al.’s variations of plagiarism in mind, I plan to maintain academic integrity in my own work by becoming more familiar with APA style to avoid accidental plagiarism and being extremely cautious to avoid unintentional plagiarism. I already avoid intentional plagiarism and self-plagiarism and do not currently require any additional effort in those areas.

As I begin to produce an increasing volume of scholarly material, I will be sure to cite my own work to avoid self-plagiarism and maintain academic integrity. While I previously found the idea of self-plagiarism to be laughable, I now understand why it is problematic when publishing research. Pandoi et al. explained that self-plagiarism “leads to duplicity of the data, which has already been used and is unethical in research parlance.” For instance, researcher A might publish results showing a particular treatment was effective for 90% of 1,000 people and researcher B might find the same treatment was effective for 60% of 500 different people. Altogether, the treatment was effective for 1,200 of 1,500 subjects, or 80% effective. However, if researcher A self-plagiarizes three times, the total data for this treatment now shows 3,900 effective cases out of 4,500, or nearly 87%. The self-plagiarism has led to inaccurate data which could lead to problems in the future.

Finally, ensuring that I act ethically as I establish my network of Christian alternative schools relies more heavily upon Biblical principles than any secular standards of integrity. I believe that all people know good from evil as a result Adam’s and Eve’s sin (Genesis 3:22). Due to this, I believe that God holds us to a standard of doing what we know is good (James 4:17). Beyond this, I will continue to love the Lord and my neighbor (Luke 10:27) and be led by the Holy Spirit in every area of my life (Galatians 5:25).


Cronan, T. P., Mullins, J. K., & Douglas, D. E. (2018). Further understanding factors that explain freshman business students’ academic integrity intention and behavior: Plagiarism and sharing homework: Journal of Business Ethics, 147(1), 197-220.

Holy Bible, New King James Version. (2020). Thomas Nelson (Original work published 1982).

Pandoi, D., Sanjaya, S. G., & Gupta, A. K. (2019). Role of virtues in the relationship between shame and tendency to plagiarise. The International Journal of Educational Management, 33(1) 66-85.

bottom of page