Why Is Cheating/Plagiarism Wrong?

  1. It is unfair to honest students who work hard for good grades.
  2. It devalues our degrees. If KSU gets a reputation as a school where cheating is common & is tolerated, employers and other schools will not value it and will not hold our graduates in high esteem.
  3. Cheating students succeed w/out learning, penalizing themselves and everyone who depends on them for the knowledge they lack. (example- brain surgeon who cheated his way through college & med school-how would you feel if you knew this person would operate on you or a loved one?)
  4. Acceptance of cheating (ignoring it or considering it a trivial issue) creates a norm of dishonesty that spreads through the school and ultimately into society.
  5. Cheating is a betrayal of the trust of one’s teachers and classmates.
  6. Plagiarism (whether it’s deliberate or accidental) is stealing the academic work of others and passing it off as your own. 

What Exactly Is Plagiarism?

See section 5C2 and 5C3 of the KSU Code of Academic Integrity for full explanation: KSU Codes of Conduct

These are some common examples of Plagiarism:

  1. Deliberate Plagiarism
    1. Buying a paper
    2. Getting someone else to write a paper for you
    3. Deliberately not acknowledging sources so that the teacher will believe the writing is yours
    4. Thinking that a few words or lines taken from another sources really don’t matter; that they’re trivial & don’t need to be acknowledged
  2. Accidental Plagiarism (Sometimes called Misuse of Sources) Is Still Plagiarism and Will Get You in Trouble.
    1. Forgetting to put quotations around direct quotes (often happens with careless Internet “cut & paste” work)
    2. Paraphrasing too close to the original writing. (Just changing a few words isn’t sufficient)
    3. Thinking that if you list all sources in a bibliography or works cited page you don’t need to also cite within the body of the paper
    4. Not knowing the rules of the citation style book you’re supposed to follow
  3. Self-plagiarism- submitting the same, or substantially the same paper, in more than one class.
  4. Too many direct quotations linked by a few sentences written by you may not be plagiarism, assuming you use quotation marks and cite properly, but it’s a poorly written paper (you need to do your own work and show your own thoughts & ideas) and will probably cause you to earn a bad grade.

What Can You Do to Avoid Plagiarism?

Ask for help on checking citation style from the KSU Writing Center (English Bldg. #242) or from your teacher before submitting the paper.

How Do Faculty Members Detect Plagiarism?

  1. Teachers recognize your style of writing.
  2. Online Services such as Google can be used to check for the source of unusual phrases or ideas. If you can find something online so can your teacher.
  3. Services such as Turnitin.com are available. The program will generate a report color coding materials taken from other sources and giving a list of the sources. A quick visual scan will then let your teacher know if each source has been cited. Some professors will use the service so you can submit your paper before turning it in. That way you can see if you omitted citations or used too many direct quotations or improper paraphrases and correct yourself before turning it in.

What Will Happen If I’m Accused of Cheating/Plagiarism?

This is what I usually tell faculty about how to handle plagiarism and other forms of cheating. Members of the faculty should confront and report academic dishonesty. To ignore cheating and plagiarism is to undercut the central mission of the university to educate.

  • Professor detects alleged academic misconduct.
  • Professor contacts Department of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (SCAI) for advice and information about student’s prior record. Phone: 470-578-3403 or email: scai@kennesaw.edu
  • Professor may conduct disciplinary conference with student by him/herself or with the help of a facilitator.
  • Professor sets disciplinary conference with student (this may take place at SCAI conference room if coordinated with SCAI Department.
  • Professor or facilitator explains the structure of the meeting.
  • Professor reviews the section of the Student Code of Conduct the student has allegedly violated and explains the nature of the accusation, providing all available evidence.
  • Accused student receives opportunity to explain the situation and provide any evidence relevant to the explanation.
  • Professor should wait until the student is finished to ask clarifying questions, providing reciprocal courtesy for the student’s silence during the initial charge explanation.
  • If student denies misconduct, professor determines if the explanation is satisfactory, in which case charges may be dropped. Educational dialogue should still usually take place prior to adjourning meeting.


  • If student accepts responsibility, professor moves to educational dialogue on academic misconduct prior to discussion of sanctions.
  • Educational dialogue should address the specific allegations as well as broader issues of academic misconduct.
  • Following the dialogue, the professor states the academic sanctions deemed appropriate to the offense and explains the decision, taking the student’s cooperation in the conference into consideration as a factor in determining severity.
  • If student accepts responsibility, the professor completes the electronic academic integrity form. A representative from SCAI then sends a confirmation email to the student's KSU email that states the charge and resolution. The student has 5 business days after this confirmation letter is sent to contact SCAI if he or she believes the case has not been resolved as stated.
  • Professor explains purpose of centralized records.
  • If student denies misconduct and professor remains unconvinced, the meeting is immediately concluded and the matter referred to the Department of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity for a formal hearing.