Understanding Academic Integrity


Plagiarism is the appearance of taking credit for the work of others. Whether something counts as plagiarism is not determined by what the student personally intended. Students who do not intend to plagiarize but are negligent about ensuring that they have not copied words or ideas from other sources will be held to the same standards as those who intend to cheat. In other words, students have a duty to avoid doing anything that appears to be plagiarism. Plagiarism is determined by what students do, not what they mean to do.


1. Taking original ideas or words without citing

Taking original ideas or words from outside sources without citing those sources is plagiarism, and will result in an automatic zero on the assignment and a report to City Tech’s academic integrity officer. Two such reports result in expulsion from the college.

2.  Copying significant words without using quotation marks

Copying any significant words from a source (other than scientific or technical terms, for which there are no alternatives) without putting them in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if the source is cited properly, or even if that source is assigned for class. Dr. MacDougall takes up to a 20% deduction off of any assignment that, although properly cited, copies significant words and does not put them in quotation marks. Remember that this deduction further reduces the grade already assigned to the student. If a student’s submission lacks sufficient original work (for example, the student copies a significant portion of their assignment) then it will already be a low grade.

Other violations of academic integrity

Using artificial intelligence (AI) or large language models (LLMs) inappropriately

While it is not specifically wrong to use AI products or LLMs such as ChatGPT, it is wrong to submit this work as your own. Any AI sources must be acknowledged in the exact same way that other sources are acknowledged—by citation (always) and quotation marks (if you use words from AI websites).

Before using artificial intelligence sources, please consider that:

1. Quotation from AI sources is often obvious, and can be checked and verified in various ways.

2. AI often makes mistakes and cannot make meaningful judgments about the quality of its sources.

3. When used appropriately, AI sources offer little advantage. They do not count as scholarly sources by themselves because they are only as credible as the sources they are based on. Their conclusions have to be rigorously fact-checked. Consequently they do not really save time and energy, which defeats the purpose of using them in most cases.

Posting class materials online

Students may not share, post, or submit course materials (tests, quizzes, etc.) or any completed work submitted for this class (such as essays, quiz answers, etc). Students who reproduce exam or quiz questions, or their completed work, are subject to an academic integrity violation according to CUNY Academic Integrity policy.