What is an Academic Misconduct

What is an Academic Misconduct

Incidents of academic misconduct are known as Academic Integrity Breaches. An academic integrity breach includes any number of practices where a student attempts to get academic credit in a way that is dishonest, disrespectful, irresponsible, untrustworthy, or unfair and that fails to show that a student has done their own work, with their own effort and in their own words.

Breaches include deliberate acts of deceit and misrepresentation, but also include unintentional efforts to obtain an unfair academic advantage.

Examples of Academic Integrity Breaches

Cheating on Tests, Quizzes, and Final Examinations

Tests and examinations are intended to assess a student’s learning and understanding of the course material. Cheating on tests and examinations includes, but is not limited to:

  • Communicating with or trying to communicate with any individual other than the instructor or invigilator during an examination. 
  • Copying all or part of another student’s examination or allowing another student to copy all or part of a student’s examination. 
  • Failing to take steps to prevent the use of one’s answers by other students in current or future examinations.
  • Possessing information or materials without authorization that may be used during an examination, including concealing materials/information on the body, in clothing, washrooms, furniture, devices, objects, or any other places in or around the examination room.
  • The obtaining, possessing, and/or sharing of examinations, examination materials, or information related to an examination without the instructor’s and/or publisher’s authorization.
  • The unauthorized sharing or use of material such as notes, AI content generator, textbooks, or computer screens during an “open book” examination.
  • The unauthorized use or possession of devices, such as mobile phones, smart watches, or any other transmission devices during an examination.
  • Using textbooks, materials, websites, AI content generators, “tutor” services, “homework help” sites, or any other technologies or content generators during an examination that are not expressly allowed by the instructor.

Outsourcing and Contract Cheating

Academic outsourcing and contract cheating occur when a student arranges for someone else to complete their academic work and then submits the work for assessment/credit.

  • Submitting a paper from any so-called “tutoring” service, “essay mill”, paper writing “services”, or content generator as your own work.
  • Offering all or part of graded assignments to other students, including offering them for free, for sale, or by electronically sharing them with individuals or file sharing sites.
  • Preparing work, in whole or in part, for another student that is submitted by the student to meet course requirements.
  • Producing work for a student to submit as their own, whether for free or in exchange for money or something else.
  • Having another individual replace a registered student during any examination, class, lab, academic meeting, or in connection with any other type of assignment or placement associated with a course or academic program.
  • Submitting academic work that someone else prepared for you (for example, a friend, a family member, a classmate, or a tutor) as your own, no matter if you paid for it or not.
  • Unauthorized or undisclosed use of an unauthorized editor, whether paid or unpaid. An editor is an individual or service, who manipulates, revises, corrects, or alters a student’s written or non-written work.


The presentation of words, codes, images, and/or ideas from another person or source as if they were one’s own. Plagiarism ranges from an entire assignment to portions of an assignment taken from a source without acknowledgment. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Any use of the work of others, whether published, unpublished, or posted electronically, attributed, or anonymous, without proper acknowledgement.
  • Borrowing all or part of another student’s paper or using someone else’s outline to write one’s own paper.
  • Copying all or part of an essay or other assignment from an author or other person, including a tutor or student mentor, and presenting the material as the student’s original work.
  • Directly quoting the words of others, without using quotation marks or indented format to identify them or otherwise indicating that words are directly quoted.
  • Paraphrasing materials or ideas of others without identifying the sources.
  • Presenting as one’s own computer code, creative or other work developed by another person.
  • Submitting or presenting the work of another person, including artistic imagery, as that of the student without full and appropriate accreditation.
  • Submitting work that another individual, including a tutor, has prepared, edited or partially written, without prior permission from the instructor.
  • The use of paraphrasing software or content generators to conceal the use of the works of others without proper attribution.
  • Using paragraphs, phrases, sentences, or ideas taken from another source without referring to or citing the author.

Falsification, Fabrication and Misrepresentation

Falsification is changing or distorting someone’s work or ideas. Fabrication is making up information without supporting data. Misrepresentation is giving misleading information about someone or something.

  • Dishonest reporting of investigative results, either through fabrication or falsification.

  • Making up information used in academic work.

  • Misrepresenting one’s contributions to group projects.

  • Submitting any academic work containing a reference to a source that has been fabricated.

  • Taking or using the research results of others without permission or due acknowledgement.

Other Cheating

  • Altering work that was given a mark and requesting the work be re-marked without prior agreement from an instructor.
  • Enabling, aiding, conspiring with, or allowing another student to commit an academic integrity violation, or attempt to commit an academic integrityviolation.
  • Submitting, in whole or in part, an essay, presentation, or assignment more than once, whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution, without prior approval from the instructor(s).
  • Violating any procedures set by the instructor to protect the integrity of an assignment or other evaluation.

Avoiding Trouble - Tips on Academic Writing

Academic writing is very different from other forms of writing like business writing, creative writing, promotional writing, or email correspondence.

In academic writing, you write to show your instructor what you’ve learned and how you think about it. The structure is formal and you must be able to show where ideas, words and images come from using proper citation practices. Considerable effort is given to building an argument or perspective and showing how that was built. The audience for academic writing is your instructor. In addition to on-campus resources, here are some external resources for students looking to learn more about academic writing:

Langara Student

When you cite your sources, you provide publication details for the original work to your readers so they can find it, you give credit to the author of the original work, and you strengthen your own argument by incorporating credible works by experts in the field. You also show your instructor that you're well informed and have read widely and deeply from appropriate sources that best support your argument.

If you have any questions about how to cite, the Langara library is a great resource.