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Academic Integrity

The State University of New York at Canton is dedicated to holding its academic community to the highest standards of academic integrity.  It is our belief that in order for students to have successful careers in their chosen fields, they must master their own course work and not imitate or copy another person’s ideas or work and claim it as their own. Academic integrity is essential to the success of the college’s educational mission, and violations of this policy are addressed expediently.

“I didn’t mean to cheat” or “I didn’t realize that was plagiarism,” are not excuses that will be acceptable to the faculty or staff on this campus, and all violations of the academic integrity policy will be handled in a consistent and fair fashion.

SUNY Canton's Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity Report Form

Best Practices to Avoid Integrity Questions

  1. Cite sources

    Based on the discipline, your instructor will require a certain citing style. The most used ones are American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or the Chicago style. Please visit Citing sources guide in SUNY Canton Soparenuthworth Library to get familiar with different citing styles. To learn why it is important to cite your sources, view Why We Cite: a brief video from UNC Chapel Hill’s Writing Center.

  2. Learn how to summarize and paraphrase.

    Paraphrasing is when you write something in your own words. Visit Paraphrase: Write it in your own words by Purdue Online Writing Lab. Be mindful that any time you are taking information from a source (even when you are paraphrasing), you must acknowledge from where the information came. Also visit Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing by the same institution, to learn the difference between the three.

  3. Find out how much collaboration with your peers is acceptable in each course.

    Tutoring should be provided by those who have been duly appointed and trained by the institution. Group work, when assigned by a professor, is done to develop teamwork skills. When one student provides a template or response to another student, this action is not tutoring but aiding the student to cheat. As stated in our Academic Integrity Policy:  ...at SUNY Canton we believe that collaboration skills are important. However, there are instances in which working with others is inappropriate. Every instructor and every assignment vary on this point. Find out from your instructors how much collaboration is acceptable for each project and assignment. Again, be well aware of the difference between acceptable collaboration and what would be considered inappropriate (and therefore cheating!)".(SUNY Canton Academic Integrity Policy, Collaboration, page 8).

  4. Avoid providing others your work.

    Students who provide their course work or templates which other students can use to form their responses are assisting these students in cheating. Cheating is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “to deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud.” In this case, students who post their responses to websites which allow students to take shortcuts in completing assignments are depriving others of something valuable: the demonstration of their technical knowledge and critical thinking skills. Posting your work or templates on websites aids students to cheat and violate SUNY Canton’s Student Handbook and are subsequent to discipline as appropriate (15.4 Article IV: Prohibited Conduct).

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

  1. Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own words, ideas, or products of another without providing a standard form of documentation, such as footnotes, endnotes, or bibliographic documentation.
  2. Fabricating facts, statistics, or other forms of evidence in papers, laboratory experiments, or other assignments.
  3. Presenting someone else's paper, computer work, or other material as one's own work.
  4. Writing, or attempting to write, an examination, paper, computer work, or other material for another student; allowing someone else to take one's examination.
  5. Buying and selling of examinations: Possession of examinations or answers to examinations without permission of the instructor.
  6. Using "cheat sheets," looking onto another's paper, or talking to someone other than the instructor or proctor during an examination, without the instructor's permission.
  7. Failing to follow the rules of conduct for taking an examination or assignment.
  8. Presenting work for which credit has been received or will be received in another course without the consent of the instructor(s).
  9. Forging of official College documents, which includes, but is not limited to, grade sheets, change of grade forms, and transcripts.
  10. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: If you allow another individual to cheat, you too are guilty of academic dishonesty. Students facilitate academic dishonesty when they allow another student to copy an assignment that was given as individual work, when they allow another to copy exam answers, when they take exams or complete assignments for another student, or when they provide their completed work to another in order for that student to submit the work as his/her own.

APA Citing Basics


APA style is an editorial style used by many authors and journals in the social and behavioral sciences. The purpose of the style that was developed 80 years ago is to help achieve the clarity of communication among researchers. It is very likely that if you continue your education, you will be asked to write your papers using APA style. APA, by the way, refers to American Psychological Association. If you are thinking about graduate school, it would be very wise to purchase and study the guidelines book.

What to do and what not to do

Every time you say something that you didn’t come up with, you have to give the author the proper credit. It is for two main reasons: to make sure that nobody accuses you of plagiarism and to give the reader an opportunity to look up the information on their own and create their own opinion on the matter.

When citing, avoid two things: quote overuse and citing secondary sources. Use direct quotations (verbatim, word-for-word) as little as possible. Preferably, don’t use them at all. The reader does not want you to copy the whole article to make a point, the reader wants to read your interpretation of the article and how it supports your argument.

Secondary source is understood as Author A cited by Author B. If you want to use what Author A is supposedly saying, get the original article, read it, and quote that article, avoid quoting the Author B as the source of the information as often as you are able to. The reason for that is the possibility of Author B misinterpreting what Author A said.

The references in the text have to match the list of references at the end of the paper. Don’t quote Smith (2013) and then never mention Smith (2013) in the list of references. Or the other way around. As you write, you can make the reference in the list as soon as you use it in the text so that you don’t forget. And then after you are finished writing, count references in the text and references in the list to make sure the numbers match.


The examples are formatted according to the 7th APA edition.

Now, review the situations below carefully and use this “template” when writing your assignments and discussions. Note: examples and authors are fictitious.

Two authors in the text & direct quotation

This example shows you how to directly quote a work by two authors (“…” denote some missing text). Notice the "and" between the authors' last names, the placement of quotation marks, and the presence and formatting of the page number from where the quotation was taken.

  • According to Hanna and Gibson (2021), “of … more than 2500 people surveyed, 41% listed public speaking as one of their greatest fears. Only 18% identified death as one of their greatest concerns” (p. 5).
Reference to a piece of information gathered from a source

Below are two suggestions of how to paraphrase an idea from another work. Notice the formatting of the source from which the summary was taken. It is acceptable to start the paraphrase with the author information, or you can include the author information at the end of the paraphrased section.

  • To summarize, motivation accounts for up to 20% of the variance in student achievement (Walberg, 2016).
  • Keller (1987) proposes that instruction should address the aspects of Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction in students for them to become and stay motivated.
List of articles that support the idea of a sentence

If you want to bring attention to the fact that the point you are making is supported by multiple sources, you can list them with the point you are making. Notice how differently we format a work by two authors when this information is in parentheses compared to when the same information is a part of the actual sentence - our first example in this list. In parentheses, two authors are connected with an "&". In the actual sentence, two authors are connected with "and".

Et al. is used with works by three or more authors. Think of it as "and company." Notice that only "al" is followed by a period.

  • Together the components form a model that, if used correctly, brings motivational benefits to instruction (Astleitner & Hufnagl, 2003; Means et al., 1997; Shellnut et al., 1999).
Two articles by the same author
  • Attention - Students’ curiosity and interest (Keller, 2008b). The concept of attention is short-term as well as long-term. To motivate students, an instructor should build their curiosity and sustain their interest (Keller, 2008a).

Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper with a centered title References. Its purpose is to provide your readers the information necessary to locate the source on their own.

Note: the reference list is alphabetized. Also notice that there is a difference between how we format a book (with the publisher information) and a journal article. Compare how a work by multiple authors is formatted in the text to how the work is formatted in a reference list (hint: a reference list must give the names of all authors up to 20 authors, while in-text citation uses et al. after the first author.) Finally, notice what parts of a reference are italicized and/or capitalized.

General formatting for a journal article:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy

General formatting for a book:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher Name. DOI (if available)

Reference list example

Astleitner, H., & Hufnagl, M. (2003). The effects of situation-outcome-expectancies and of ARCS-strategies on self-regulated learning with web-lectures. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 12(4), 361-376. https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/14512/

Hanna, M. S., & Gibson, J. W. (2021). Public speaking for personal success. Pearson.

Keller, J. M. (1987). Development and use of the ARCS model of instructional design. Journal of Instructional Development, 10(3), 2-10.

Keller, J. M. (2008a). An integrative theory of motivation, volition, and performance. Technology, Instruction, Cognition, and Learning, 6, 79-104. http://insysprelimexamprep.wikispaces.com/file/view/Keller_2008_Integrative_Theory.pdf

Keller, J. M. (2008b). First principles of motivation to learn and e3-learning. Distance Education, 29, 175-185.

Means, T. B., Jonassen, D. H., & Dwyer, F. M. (1997). Enhancing relevance: Embedded ARCS strategies vs. purpose. Educational Technology Research and Development, 45, 5-17.

Shellnut, B., Knowlton, A., & Savage, T. (1999). Applying the ARCS model to the design and development of computer-based modules for manufacturing engineering courses. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47, 100-110.

Walberg, T. (2016). Improving the productivity of America’s schools. Yale University Press.

For more context, explanations, and examples, please make sure to review the APA guides and examples.

MLA Citing Basics


MLA (Modern Language Association) Style is used for Humanities & Arts. You MUST document all sources in your writing – even for informal papers. If you fail to document, you are plagiarizing!


The examples are formatted according to the 9th MLA edition.

Using the author's name in an introductory phrase
  • According to Maslow, successfully satisfying the self-esteem need leads to feelings of self-confidence and worth (385).
NOT using the author's name in an introductory phrase
  • The most basic needs a human has are their physiological needs; food, water, shelter, etc. The second most basic need a human has is safety (Maslow 374).

Works Cited Information

How to write correct entries for MLA Style documentation Works Cited pages:

  1. Works Cited pages list ONLY those works you’ve actually cited from – not every book or source you’ve looked at or read.
  2. The Works Cited page is the LAST page of your research paper. It begins on its own fresh sheet – numbered – with the words Works Cited centered at the top. Do not underline the words; only capitalize the W and the C…
  3. Follow this pattern of spacing and indentation:
    1. SPACING: the entire paper is double-spaced including the works cited page.
    2. INDENTATION: first line is aligned at the margin, second and subsequent lines are indented one tab.
  4. Entries are listed ALPHABETICALLY by author (or first available known info in a traditional entry if author is not known – usually the title of the individual work)
    1. REMEMBER: Book titles are always italicized. Periodicals (magazine titles) are always italicized. Film Titles and Sound Recording Titles are always italicized. Short works (essays, short storied, poems, songs) are always put in quotation marks.

Works Cited Example

“Bret Hart’s Works.” Literary Web. 21 Nov. 2005, www.literaryweb.brethart.com.

Jen, Gish. Typical American. Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

Jones, Alexander E. “Point of View in the Turn of the Screw.” PMLA, vol. 74, no. 1, 1959, pp. 112–22.

For more context, explanations, and examples, please make sure to review the MLA Style Introduction by Purdue Online Writing Lab. This website has multiple examples, descriptions, and tutorials on citing using MLA.

Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Peggy A. De Cooke, Ph.D.
SUNY Canton
MAC 610
34 Cornell Drive
Canton, NY 13617

Fax: 315-386-7945