Academic Integrity Policy

Plagiarism and cheating are grave violations of the academic integrity policy of the California State University, Chico. This policy (EM 04-36) is posted on the President's website.

The Humanities Program views plagiarism and cheating as serious offenses. The policy of the Humanities Program is that anyone found to have blatantly cheated or plagiarized on an assignment will automatically fail the course and be referred to student judicial affairs for further disciplinary action, which may include suspension or expulsion from the University.

Center for Academic Integrity. “Fundamental Values Project.” 23 March 2004 at and cited in California State University, Chico, “Proposed Academic Integrity Policy,” April 29, 2004.

Academic honesty is essential to the university community. Plagiarism and cheating are wrong in themselves because they violate self-respect, respect for your professors, and respect for your institution. The consequences of a culture of cheating are a decline in the reputation of the university, the value of its degrees, and its capacity to attract serious and able students.

Definitions of Academic Dishonesty

Cheating: “Cheating is intentional fraud or deception for the purpose of improving a grade or obtaining course credit and includes all behavior intended to gain unearned academic advantage. Cheating includes either helping or attempting to help another person cheat.

California State University, Chico, “Proposed Academic Integrity Policy,” April 29, 2004.

Plagiarism: Using someone else’s words or ideas without properly citing them is plagiarism. The CSU academic integrity policy distinguishes between misuse of sources and intentional plagiarism. If a student makes an attempt to “identify and credit his or her source,” but does so improperly, he or she will not be penalized according to our policy.

However, students should make every effort to learn the proper format for correctly citing sources, since this is an essential aspect of academic work.

Intentional plagiarism occurs when the student “deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common knowledge) material without acknowledging its source” and in so doing represents them as his or her own. This includes borrowing another’s phrases or sentences without using quotation marks or citations; cutting and pasting whole paragraphs (or papers) from websites without acknowledgement; or borrowing ideas from someone without citing them.

Different disciplines and different professors may prefer specific citation formats; a general overview of the three most common formats may be found at

Council of Writing Program Administrators. “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices.” WPA Position Statements and Resolutions. Jan 23. 12 February 2004 Cited in California State University, Chico, “Proposed Academic Integrity Policy,” April 29, 2004.

Examples of Cheating

  • Copying from another student’s test
  • Allowing another student to copy from your test
  • Using unauthorized notes or “crib sheets” during an exam
  • Using your cell phone to text answers to other students during an exam
  • Informing students in later sections of the contents of an exam
  • Using unauthorized assistance in a take-home exam (e.g. working with another student when the instructor has not explicitly authorized it, or using reference works when that is not permitted by the instructor)

Examples of Plagiarism

  • Downloading an entire paper or sections of a paper from a website without acknowledgement
  • Copying sentences or paragraphs from a book or website without citing them, without using quotation marks when appropriate, or both
  • Turning in a paper someone else has written
  • Having someone else write a portion of your paper (even a sentence)

Link to library page on citing sources

The library has established a web page devoted to different citation formats. There are also direct links to style pages for different citation formats at the University Writing Center.

Related Sites