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Academic Integrity Tutorial for Undergraduates: Types of Academic Dishonesty

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

Academic Dishonesty: Cheating

Academic Dishonesty: Cheating

Cheating is the most well-known academically dishonest behavior.

But cheating includes more than just copying a neighbor's answers on an exam or peeking at a cheat sheet or storing answers on your phone.  Giving or offering information during an examination is also dishonest.

Turning in someone else's work as your own is also considered cheating.


Ed Dante (pseudonym) makes a living writing custom essays that unscrupulous students buy online.  You can read his story at The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Purchasing someone else's work and turning it in as your own is cheating.

Academic Dishonesty: Collusion

Academic Dishonesty:  Collusion

Collusion, such as working with another person or persons when independent work is assigned, is considered academic dishonesty.

While it is fine to work in a team if your faculty member requires or allows it, be sure to communicate with your faculty about guidelines on permissible collaboration (including how to attribute the contribution of others).


In 2012, 125 Harvard students were investigated for working together on a take-home final.  The only rule was not to work together.  Almost half of those students were determined to have cheated, and forced to withdraw from school for a year.

Academic Dishonesty: Falsifying Reports & Misrepresenting

Falsifying Reports & Misrepresenting

Falsifying results in studies or experiments is a serious breach of academic dishonesty.

Students are sometimes tempted to fabricate results if their study or experiment does not produce the results they wanted.  But getting caught has major consequences.

Misrepresenting yourself or your research is, by definition, dishonest.

Misrepresentation might include inflating credentials, claiming that a study proves something that it does not, or leaving out inconvenient and/or contradictory results.


An undergraduate at the University of Kansas claimed to be a researcher and promoted his (unfortunately incorrect) research on how much a Big Mac would cost if the United States raised the minimum wage.  His study was picked up by the Huffington Post, the New York Times, and other major news outlets, who then had to publish retractions.

The Academic Integrity Quiz