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Academic Integrity: A Student Guide

First-Year Writing Program Academic Integrity Policy

The First-Year Writing Program at Montclair State University values students’ honest efforts in the classroom and as writers. Should you choose to commit academic dishonesty—turning in written work as your own that you have copied from some other source, whether a website, print media or even another student—your professor will submit your essay and the source materials to the Student Conduct office and you will face disciplinary action from the University. Your professor additionally reserves the right to fail you for the assignment or the semester. You have the right to appeal the decision and also to request a meeting with your professor and the First-Year Writing Program Director, Caroline Dadas. Also please familiarize yourself with The University’s Definition and Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.


Below you will find several websites from other colleges and from a textbook publisher that are designed to aid you in understanding and developing the skills necessary to avoid academic dishonesty.

  • Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing This site provides a useful discussion and methods for citing sources, offered by the Purdue University Writing Lab.
  • Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It In this site from Indiana University readers are offered explanations and examples of plagiarism and appropriate citation.
  • WPA Statement on Best Practices An online guide that defines plagiarism, suggests some causes of plagiarism, proposes a set of responsibilities for students, teachers and administrators, and recommends a set of practices for teaching and learning that reduces plagiarism.
  • The Citation Project This site provides systematic data, discussion and resources to help instructors and administrators with developing plagiarism policies and with developing effective instruction methods for the ethical use of sources.


Documentation Styles

A good handbook will give you thorough and complete information about documentation.

  • The first step for documentation is to find out from your instructor what style is required: APA, MLA, Chicago or another style.
  • The second step is to prepare your documentation as you gather your data; in other words, keep careful records relating to author, title, publication date, publisher, page numbers and any other information that your documentation style requires and keep these records with the notes that you take from each source.